Because Regular Chocolate Bars Are Way Too Masculine

I don’t even know what to do with this one.

Fling is a new chocolate bar that’s aimed at women. You can tell, because the packaging is pink.  Also because the damn thing is called “fling,” indicating that there’s something thrilling and “naughty” about the chocolate bar — and no one considers it “naughty” when a dude eats a Snickers.  But a Fling only a little naughty — it just has 85 calories! (Which is also how you know it’s for women!)  That’s why they didn’t call it Affair.

Oh, and the marketing rather overtly references female masturbation, thus again indicating that it’s totally for ladies:

Wrapped in a shiny pink and sliver package, this delicate “chocolate finger” is intended for women. The word “finger” is an industry term for a long, slim confection, Mars spokesman Ryan Bowling says, but with ads that invite you to “Pleasure yourself” in pink lettering, consumers might come to other conclusions.

The tag line on the package is “Naughty, but not that naughty.” A TV spot starts with what looks like strangers having sex in a store dressing room. Currently the candy bar can be bought only California and online, but if all goes well, Mars is hoping women will be having Flings all across the country.

Consider my eyebrow officially and disapprovingly raised.

So: eating chocolate is bad because it makes you fat, and no woman wants to be fat, which is why she should get a Fling because it won’t make you fat, and because you know that for women, not eating chocolate is totally not an option.  Also, women like pink, which we already knew.  That’s why you have to make everything for them pink, so they’ll know when they’re supposed to buy something!  And lastly, women enjoy, um, “pleasuring themselves” with “fingers,” which isn’t exactly news but certainly interesting marketing.  And not at all patronizing!

Why don’t think just change the slogan to “skinny chicks masturbate with low-fat chocolate” and get it over with?  It might even add a bit of subtlety.

h/t mk Eagle

ETA: Sit down for this one: these things also sparkle thanks to some kind of colored, FDA approved glitter.  In the fucking chocolate bar.  Dear god help us all. (Thanks to Bunny Mazonas in the comments.)


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77 comments for “Because Regular Chocolate Bars Are Way Too Masculine

  1. May 18, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Ha. Ha. Ha.

    *snort*

    I love it. So over the top! But will this impact my hot sweaty love for Twix? Nah …

  2. William
    May 18, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    and no one considers it “naughty” when a dude eats a Snickers.

    Clearly you don’t know the right dudes…

    Also, am I the only one who thinks the damned thing looks delicious?

  3. FashionablyEvil
    May 18, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Why don’t think just change the slogan to “skinny chicks masturbate with low-fat chocolate” and get it over with?

    It’s a good think I wasn’t eating or drinking when I got to that line. :)

    I have decided to start taking on the “ooh, I’m so bad, I’m eating something that might be considered mildly indulgent” comments. Women have a tendency to think about their body in terms of its appearance rather its utility or ability to provide pleasure for themselves. When you say, “I’m being bad, I’m having dessert!” how are you being bad? You’re being bad in that you’re not conforming to social standards about how women should look and behave. Screw that.

  4. May 18, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    It’s a twix in a pink wrapper. yeehah.

  5. Bunny Mazonas
    May 18, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    It is worse than you think. Apparently, the damn things have GLITTER in them, too. Because, y’know, if pink and chocolate don’t make us come running, mashing some glitter into food will make us all lose ALL our self control around this.

  6. mikki
    May 18, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    they forgot to put the breast cancer ribbon on it, and add the “body positive” website, ala Dove.

  7. May 18, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Yeah, Personal Failure, that’s the first thing I thought too – It looks exactly like a low-fat Twix. And I’ll do exactly what I’ve been doing BEFORE this marketing genius of pinkdom and caloric coercion – I’ll eat the Twix for the extra 150 calories, or maybe go MORE daring and eat a more “masculine” chocolate like a Snickers.

    Do you think the ad exec behind this is the same one behind Dell’s pink notebooks?

  8. May 18, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    OMFG. I thought Bunny Mazonas just had to be joking. I was convinced, but worried, so I googled . . .

    Oh dear god help us all.

  9. Theaetetus
    May 18, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    This is the natural marketing reaction to Yorkie – slogan: “It’s not for girls!”

  10. May 18, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

    Although several indomitable homosexuals of my acquaintance have been awaiting, for many years, the arrival of edible-glitter-coated candy, this is not how I wanted it to happen.

  11. Gwrthryfel
    May 18, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Honestly?

    Really?

    I would really like to have something marketed to me as a woman without my weight/looks being brought into it FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE.

    P.S. Glittering food sounds very unappetizing, whether one is male or female, I am thinking.

  12. roro
    May 18, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    It’s just like a 2-pack of tampons. Yay!

  13. May 18, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    If sparkly pink finger-shaped chocolate bars are for the ladies, I’m going to start marketing protein-infused donuts with some sort of sports insignia to dudes.

  14. May 18, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    I’m sure it costs more money for less chocolate, so fuck that noise.

    Am I the only one who actively avoids any food that’s supposed to be a “safe” amount of calories? Yogurt that’s 90 calories instead of 100, because that totally makes a fucking difference! Little packets of Oreos in an amount that is totally not physically satisfying but boasts the round number of 100 cal! Something meant to be a full meal that’s less than 250 calories!

    I survived on fewer than 1000 calories/day, once. That was when my doctors called me “visibly malnourished.”

    I dunno, my assumption is generally that the actual 1) nutrition and 2) enjoyability of a food is probably going to be less if the manufacturers just had to get it under that 100 calorie mark somehow.

  15. kat
    May 18, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    @ roro

    Just wait!! I can’t believe we’re not already being sold pink, glittery tampons!

  16. May 18, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Jill, honestly, you’d better get on that idea quick. Because in the age of Hungry Man Dinners, the profit’s going to be made within the month if you don’t capitalize on it first.

  17. May 18, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Dudes. Check out the t shirts. https://flingchocolate.libertydistribution.com/

    $5 for a ten-pack, plus shipping. Costs less than my local Sarris chocolate, but that shit is drizzled straight from the heavens into their candy molds.

  18. Mysticdog
    May 18, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Awesome! The only downside I can see to it is that while the masturbation reference is naughtily risque, /most people don’t like to do things that imply they are masturbating/. Otherwise, my “Monkey Spanker” bars would have been a lot more successful.

  19. Avarin
    May 18, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    I’m delurking just to say we’ve got these in Australia already, and they’re really not that great. Kind of… a bit pasty and bland. Give me a Snickers bar any day. Thankfully I’ve managed to avoid any advertising for these flings, so I’m not sure how the ad campaign over here went. The packaging was different though, more red and white from what I remember.

  20. notmandy
    May 18, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    I tried a reese’s peanut butter candy bar recently out of curiosity. It was marketed as having less fat (not the reason why I bought it), so I figured it had that sort of fluffy filling like a 3 musketeer bar. It tasted normal at first, but after a few bites I started to notice it had a really weird mouth feel. I realized that the fluffy filling (ie teh fat reducing part of the bar) tasted like nothing at all and all of the peanut flavor came from a thin coating around the fluffy stuff. It was some nasty shit. I sort of imagine these fling bars being a similar experience. Except with that bonus mica glitter.

  21. Agi
    May 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    Snickers are clearly for men only. At least that’s what Mr. T said.

  22. May 18, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    Ewwwww. Fingers? Glittery, chocolate, fingers??? To “pleasure youself”??? I feel like it’s a nightmareish cross between Babeland and Willy Wonka.

    “Like the women who crave it, FLING needs to be handled with care — try not to ruffle our delicate truffles and keep them in a cool, dry place. Between 65-75 degrees is ideal. Then you can pleasure yourself with this chocolate sensation time and time again.”

    Because clearly, real ladies wouldn’t eat the whole thing at one sitting. We only like one finger in our vag–oops, mouth–at a time.

    Glitter, really? I feel a need for a batch of my husbands triple chocolate chocolate chip cookies right NOW just to remedy the soul death caused by looking at the FAQ page for that crap.

  23. denelian
    May 18, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    i have never found an “edible glitter” thats tastes good…

    also – “diet” foods are almost universally horrible.

  24. Karen
    May 18, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Why is this necessary in world where Milky Way Midnight exists?

  25. May 18, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Because Milky Way Midnight isn’t wrapped in pink and STUFFED FULL OF GLITTER. Duh, Karen! What the hell is even the point of a low-fat chocolate bar if there’s no glitter? Also, if it doesn’t double as a masturbation aid? My female brain can’t even comprehend such an idea!

  26. Mandolin
    May 18, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    “Why don’t think just change the slogan to “skinny chicks masturbate with low-fat chocolate” and get it over with?”

    Because I suspect the marketing isn’t for women who are skinny, but rather for women who are fat or think of themselves as fat (or “too fat”). There’s shaming involved here, too.

  27. Josh Jasper
    May 18, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Mica? MICA?!? That’s pretty much sparkly SAND.

    WTF?!

  28. May 18, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    Sparkling chocolate bars? So that’s what happened to Edward Cullen!

  29. May 18, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Because I suspect the marketing isn’t for women who are skinny, but rather for women who are fat or think of themselves as fat (or “too fat”). There’s shaming involved here, too.

    Oh yeah, of course. But beer companies aren’t really marketing to super beautiful people when they show super beautiful people in their ads either. The point is the suggestion (though significantly more implicit) that “if you drink this beer, you will be beautiful like these people.” And just like low-fat yogurt ads show really thin women in them too, etc. The point is to market using what they see as their demographic’s ideal, and then tell them that this is what that ideal would do . . . even when it’s pretty far from the truth.

  30. William
    May 18, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    I’ll admit it. While the reasoning part of my brain finds the concept of edible glitter to be horrifying, my inner 5 year old thinks its the best idea since Gak,

  31. May 18, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Ah, yes. Dessert so often serves as cover for delivery of reminders to women on their weight. Can’t forget our function as ornament, after all.

  32. May 18, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    The best thing is how patronising this all is. So, like, it’s a Twix, but a bit smaller and with glitter. Because if women wanted to eat candy, but less than X calories worth, they couldn’t POSSIBLY take a normal sized candy bar, do the math, and split it up. Because we’re bad at math, see? How kind of them to save us the bother.

    Also I refuse to eat anything glittery just on general principles. It would make me feel like I was consuming mineral makeup.

  33. May 18, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    I’m still waiting for the edible candy daffodil from Willy Wonka. And the chocolate lake.

  34. Tiktaalik
    May 18, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    “It is worse than you think. Apparently, the damn things have GLITTER in them, too. Because, y’know, if pink and chocolate don’t make us come running, mashing some glitter into food will make us all lose ALL our self control around this.”
    Trying to appeal to Twilight fans?

  35. May 18, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    Sparkling chocolate bars? So that’s what happened to Edward Cullen!

    Blake Stacey wins this thread

  36. blazingam
    May 18, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Umm, I was just thinking..what it would take for me to buy this new marketing ploy. I have decided, that it would need to contain some subversive birth control so I may partake in what it is advertising I try. How coy, fresh, and fantastic. No surgical procedures, no daily pill taking, or hormonal crashes. Just a small glittery chocolate flavored window of opportunity. I could get behind that!

  37. whipdizzy
    May 18, 2009 at 11:17 pm
  38. May 18, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    So are you supposed to nibble on a Fling while you surf online clothing stores with your Della? This is so out of hand.

  39. Cactus Wren
    May 19, 2009 at 3:14 am

    I’m in Mesa (suburb of Phoenix), and I’ve seen them at the Tempe Fry’s Electronics. They’re quite tasty, actually — I liked the crispness of the meringue — but you should either eat it in the store or take a lunchbox-size ice cooler in with you. (Really. The damn thing was melting by the time I’d reached my car and put my other stuff in the trunk. And that was a month ago, when it was still — by local standards — cool out.)

    The “glitter” isn’t really glittery: it’s a faint shimmer, like the barest mist of metallic spraypaint, and doesn’t affect the taste or texture.

  40. umami
    May 19, 2009 at 5:17 am

    I kind of like the idea of glittery chocolate, actually. I guess I’m feeling a little bit five years old today.

    But I am slightly concerned at the prospect of having glittery poo. Yeah, I’m definitely feeling five years old. But it’s a very alarming thought! Where does the glitter go?

  41. Grey Duck
    May 19, 2009 at 5:33 am

    The AV Club also had a great entry on this product a while back (as well as the “her” energy drink). They even took the time to point out that, gram-for-gram, a Snickers is less fattening.

  42. Ali
    May 19, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Ha umami! It might make things a bit more entertaining for my cat who rushes to the toilet whenever I flush so he can watch the action.

  43. preying mantis
    May 19, 2009 at 9:41 am

    “Am I the only one who actively avoids any food that’s supposed to be a “safe” amount of calories?”

    I find the snack-packs convenient because I’ll want something like Oreos, have two, enjoy them, and then not want to see another Oreo for a year. The marketing that gets applied to single-serving packets drives me up a fucking wall, though. It can’t just be a “chuck it in your lunchbox” size–no, no, no.

    God forbid someone have four fucking mini-cookies without some douchebag-written copy on the bag trying to persuade you either that it’s “okay” (or even healthy) to eat something that’s generally pretty bad for you because it’s only x points on a diet program or x calories, or that if you dare have more than what’s contained in their micropackage, you’re unworthy of love and destined for an early, lonely grave.

  44. May 19, 2009 at 10:25 am

    “Am I the only one who actively avoids any food that’s supposed to be a “safe” amount of calories?”

    No. I also avoid the hell out of those foods. I’m particularly skeptical of “low-fat” foods that are supposed to be high in fat — it just means they’re chock full of chemicals and artificial ingredients. I have a hard time beliving it’s better for your body to consume chemical sweetener than it is to have a tablespoon of fresh cream.

  45. Cactus Wren
    May 19, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Gad, yes, Jill. A friend of mine repeatedly recommended the Hungry Girl site to me: I checked it out and so many of the recipes involved non-food substances! Almost the first thing I found was a pseudo-potato-salad recipe that involved “fat-free mayonnaise”, “fat-free sour cream” and “fat-free non-dairy liquid creamer”. Just reading that site is enough to make me long for the days when “mayonnaise” meant mayonnaise, and “fat-free” or “reduced-fat” mayonnaise had (at least in the US) to be labeled “imitation mayonnaise”.

    My rule of thumb is, look at the ingredients list: if it includes items that would look more at home on a bottle of conditioner, what you are holding in your hand is not food.

  46. May 19, 2009 at 11:11 am

    Fling is a new chocolate bar that’s aimed at women.

    Pun intended?

    I would gladly thrust this candy bar in a public pool.

    And I’m watching What Not to Wear right now, and Stacy London just said, “Glitter and pink. There’s more to style than just glitter and pink.” There’s more to candy bars too.

  47. Alexis
    May 19, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Agreed that the advertising is squicky, but I for one think the candy is pretty darn good. I’m glad it’s seeming to reach a wide market now so I can buy it without making a few hours’ worth of roadtrip, but seriously dudes, get a new PR and marketing rep.

  48. Kaija
    May 19, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Umami got to it before I did, but I have to admit my first thought upon the glitter info was wondering if it would give me glittering poo coming out the other end…probably the only reason why I would try it, since I think poo and bathroom humor is endless funny and my 7th grade sense of humor is readily accessible at all times.

    But really….if I want chocolate, I’m going to go buy one of those good sized bars of quality dark chocolate and maybe eat it all at once, or maybe a few squares at a time over a few days, depending on my changeable girly whims. If I’m gonna masturbate, I’m going to open the toy drawer, again exercise my girly whimsical choice as to what looks fun today, put some porn on the computer, and indulge myself. And then maybe have some more dark chocolate.

    Marketers can suck my virtual balls… :)

  49. 10G
    May 19, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    OMG, where do I start? Too many great comments today on this one! Love you guys…all of you!! “Please do not ruffle our delicate truffles” will be with me all day (Rock on, Chava!)!!

    Good lord….”sparkly” girly confections…..for the records, I just downed FOUR mocha truffles straight from Mr. Ed’s (Gettysburg, Pa…has plenty of non-gender specific goodies!) in protest.

  50. May 19, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    This reminds me of Men’s Pocky. Because men don’t eat…fingers….I guess.

  51. Alexis
    May 19, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    THIS JUST IN: Apparently, not only can women not eat chocolate that isn’t glittery and in a pink package, they also can’t contact the dead unless it’s glittery and in a pink package!

    Seriously? Ouija For Girls? What. the. Fuck.

  52. May 19, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    No. I also avoid the hell out of those foods. I’m particularly skeptical of “low-fat” foods that are supposed to be high in fat — it just means they’re chock full of chemicals and artificial ingredients. I have a hard time beliving it’s better for your body to consume chemical sweetener than it is to have a tablespoon of fresh cream.

    With the caveat that “artificial”/”chemical” isn’t necessarily worse than “natural” (and that the terms have little basis, much how race is a cultural, not biological, construction) yes — think how the jury is out on butter vs. margarine.

    I figure, if they’re reducing the calorie/fat/carb content to fit an arbitrary marker that has little to do with health or enjoyability, what’s left when they’re done is going to be less good-for-me on a practical basis, and less enjoyable overall. I’d rather eat half a regular Snickers than a whole hypothetical Diet Snickers (zero fat, low carb, half the calories!!!).

  53. May 19, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    lisa @39 wins the nets!

    also: this fling thing makes me wanna be butch just to piss those marketing idiots off.

    i smush your flingy thingy with my doc martens!

  54. Bitter Scribe
    May 20, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Mars has been getting pretty weird with its ads the last few years. Remember that ridiculous Snickers TV spot that ran during the Super Bowl three (??) years ago, where these two dudes were simultaneously munching on each end of a Snickers bar and wound up going into full-blown homosexual panic?

    What’s baffling, to me at least, is that Mars is on the verge of supplanting Hershey (if it hasn’t already) as the top U.S. chocolate candy company. In America, that’s like owning a license to print money. Maybe they should spend some of it on a new ad agency.

  55. Bitter Scribe
    May 20, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Oh, and if you want the best deal on pure chocolate, leave the candy alone and head straight for the baking aisle. Ounce for ounce, sweetened or semi-sweet baker’s chocolate is your best buy. (I especially recommend Ghirardelli chips with 58% cacao.)

  56. May 20, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Frankly, the American Fling site pales in comparison to the New Zealand one, which lets users create their own custom man to “have a harmless fling” with, as well as allowing women to “send out flirty e-mails.”

  57. Straight Male Lurker
    May 20, 2009 at 11:27 am

    I think I’m going to organize a straight white male Fling eating party. Why shouldn’t men have flings?

  58. Bitter Scribe
    May 20, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    To be entirely fair, Mars has been on the side of the angels in one respect: They’ve led the fight to keep the FDA from lowering the cocoa-butter requirement for chocolate under Federal Standards of Identity.

    Of course, this is purely a matter of self-interest on their part, but still.

  59. Bagelsan
    May 20, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Apparently, not only can women not eat chocolate that isn’t glittery and in a pink package, they also can’t contact the dead unless it’s glittery and in a pink package!

    Seriously? Ouija For Girls? What. the. Fuck.

    When the above is *also* marketed as a masturbation aid, let me know. :D Though I guess Ouija boards generally appear at girls’ sleepovers and we all *know* what guys think go on at those! (…Too far?)

  60. May 20, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    I bet this chocolate isn’t even any good – probably has dairy in it. When I want to indulge in a bit of naughty chocolate-y goodness, I go to Fog City News and get a $8 bar of single source Michel Cluizel chocolate from Santo Domingo. Single source chocolate is slavery free (look at the price!) and usually prepared along organic standards … I far prefer organic, single source chocolate and will pay for it to avoid dairy & soy lecithin when I all I want is CHOCOLATE!

    FWIW, Mars doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to their chocolate – is this slavery free chocolate? I doubt it.

  61. May 20, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    I see the glitter stuff is mica. In Australia we call that Fool’s Gold. :-/

  62. May 20, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    The only thing I want to do with this abomination is “fling” it into the trash. Along with that miserable “Della” computer, and any other lame-ass femmed-up products.

    Gender Essentialist Marketing= Epic Fail

  63. redredrose
    May 20, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    I hope they start selling those in TN. :)

  64. Jess B.
    May 21, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Not sure if anyone mentioned it yet (and apologies if you did), but not surprisingly these were the brain-child of a man. It took me a while to remember, but he was on Millionaire Matchmaker looking for love (supposedly) and selling the candybar (seriously). Personally, I’d rather have a Twix; things that SPARKLE make me think of Twilight lately…

  65. joytulip
    May 22, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    just saw a web ad for this.

    apparently it is “available in a menage of flavors”

    by menage they mean three: milk, dark, hazelnut. and to suggest ‘menage a trois’

    more sexy, sexy marketing… not.

  66. Alex V.
    May 24, 2009 at 6:21 am

    That wrapper SO looks like tampon packaging!

  67. May 24, 2009 at 7:41 am

    It does look nice and truffle and meringue sound good too, but I’d only fancy eating this chocolate bar a second time if it actually tasted nice the first time I tried it. That’s the test for me and it is for everyone else.

    The packaging, the marketing, the branding etc is all just to attract people to eat it the first time, so yes I can see why they’ll try anything to make their product stand out. Sex sells. I really wish it didn’t. Sometimes I’m put off enough by advertising to refuse to buy that product nomatter how good it might be. That’s a hope I have for all people, but we’re relying on people not being apathetic.

    I really think that women are getting a worse representation in adverts nowadays than they ever have before. Adverts for cleaning products are full of women with perfect nails who live to clean up after men or children or dogs and never complain. It drives me crazy. Men don’t do the cleaning in these worlds. Makes me strike that particular product off my list.

    The trouble is that I can live in a mess, but I need chocolate!

  68. T B
    May 24, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    To elaborate on what Theaetetus said about “Yorkie” bars –

    Those UK chocolate bars are marketed as macho snacks (which are “NOT for Girls!”).

    Here’s a Sociological Images post about them –
    http://contexts.org/socimages/2009/01/02/not-subtle/

    When I was in the UK I got a good photo of a box of Yorkie bars –
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tobanblack/3493753543/
    They were actually being sold (which I wouldn’t have fully believed if I hadn’t seen them on the shelf).

    I couldn’t resist trying one. It reminded me of cheap easter chocolate. Basically it had a very potent, artificial/processed chocolate taste.

  69. KAleksander
    June 29, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Interesting that they saw it necessary to emphasis that chocolate “can be for women”.

    In asian countries, specially Japan, chocolate is something very female by default and marketeers actually have to market chocolates to the MEN by “butching them up” so men won’t feel ensmasculated by buying a, say, Snickers :P

    Dark chocolate is thought of as being more masculine and more fit for men so if you see a chocolate called “Man” or “MEN’S” in japan, its dark chocolate. :P

  70. T B
    August 4, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    By the way –
    The Yorkie bars I mentioned above are sold at a “British Shoppe” here in London, Ontario, Canada.
    There are two flavours.

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