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2020 Proof CanTrust Report - January and May results

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Now in its 5th year, Proof's CanTrust Index is a leading source of research and understanding of trust in Canada. For 2020, we conducted our robust study in our usual January time period (as COVID-19 began to sweep around the world), and a smaller follow-up survey in early May after Canada had entered a lock-down. Our data shows that Canada’s trust story is in many ways stable, and during this pandemic, both doctors and scientists are rising into stratospheric trust levels. Our research also finds trust is particularly strong in essential services such as local hospitals, banks and grocery stores. Worryingly, our CEOs and senior leaders are losing trust and need to do better. Recovery plans should include building trust.

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2020 Proof CanTrust Report - January and May results

  1. 1. Client Name | Proof April 21, 2020 Updated May 15, 2020 Proof CanTrust Index 2020 Results and Insights cantrustindex.ca
  2. 2. OUR COMMITMENT TO TRUST IN CANADA 2 Now in its 5th year, Proof's CanTrust Index is a leading source of research and understanding of trust in Canada. We are committed to studying and measuring trust and sharing our findings because societies can’t function without it. Proof Inc. is the largest wholly Canadian-owned public relations, public affairs and events consulting firm in the country, operating in five offices with more than 200 people. In 2020, we advanced our research and surveyed 2,500 Canadians through two studies in January as COVID-19 began its extraordinary disruption of our world. In addition to our benchmark questions, this year we examined our citizens’ disposition to trust, sense of National and local identities as well as values to further inform our understanding of what makes Canada unique. Trust is more critical now than it ever was given the current state of the world. Actions taken throughout the COVID-19 crisis and recovery will not only impact an organization’s reputation, but also its long-term survival. Canada’s COVID-19 pandemic recovery plan must include building trust. This is our moment of truth.
  3. 3. FLASH: May Follow up Survey 3 Proof followed up with Canadians in May 2020 to see how trust levels changed as COVID-19 arrived • In May 2020, Proof conducted a follow up survey to measure how trust has shifted in the wake of COVID-19 reaching Canada’s shores. • Since January, there has been a heartening increase in trust in several key groups of Canadians including doctors, scientists, not-for-profits and governments. It is clear the country is putting its faith in government and essential workers to guide us through the crisis. • However, the increase in trust has not been all-inclusive. In the same period, trust in CEOs has declined to an all-time low, demonstrating the fact CEOs need to better-understand the values of their employees and how to communicate with them effectively during the crisis. Online survey of 1,000 Canadians conducted May 1–3, 2020
  4. 4. When you think about recent events, how much do you trust each of these people or groups of people to do the right thing for Canada, Canadians and our society in general? – Online survey of 1,000 Canadians conducted May 1-3, 2020. 4 FLASH: Stratospheric Trust Levels for Doctors and Scientists during COVID-19 Not for profits/ charities Governments Doctors Scientists Educators CEOs January May Small/Medium Business
  5. 5. January Study Methodology 5 This report provides a summary of findings from Proof’s general population study. • 1,500 interviews using a national opt-in panel administered by The Logit Group. • Participants completed the survey instrument online from either a mobile device or a desktop computer. The study was completed in both official languages: 1,260 in English and 240 in French. • Sample is representative of Canadian population statistics by region, age & gender. • Fieldwork was conducted January 17th through January 27th, 2020. Proof conducted a second study this year of 1,000 employees exclusively to gain a benchmark of trust within Canadian workplaces. If you would like to learn more about that study, please contact Bruce MacLelllan at bmaclellan@getproof.com, 416.969.2727 or visit cantrustindex.ca.
  6. 6. Executive Summary 6 • Canadians have a high disposition to trust and hold very distinctive values, which inform our own evaluation of trust in others. Our citizens identify very highly as Canadian and share a sense of belonging to Canada. Trust is associated with identity. Our research found that the stronger the sense of belonging and identification as “Canadian”, the greater the willingness to trust. • Our research shows steady trust in public services. Trust in the RCMP, for example, is at 61 percent, trust in our health care system is at 57 percent, and trust in the education system at 55 percent. • Similarly, our research shows relatively high levels of trust in important services during this pandemic like hospitals at 66 percent, grocery stories at 58 percent and banks at 48 percent. • Another distinctly Canadian feature of trust is the number of newcomers arriving with relatively higher baseline levels of trust, serving to raise the national average.
  7. 7. Executive Summary 7 • Trust in the news media is proving resilient and up slightly to 44 percent in 2020 from 40 percent in 2019. This trust may grow further as Canadians rely on news media for up-to-date information and as audiences grow during the COVID-19 crisis. • Friends and family (78 percent), scientists (70 percent) and medical doctors (76 percent) top the trust scale as sources for reliable information, while politicians are at a dismal 12 percent. • Considering our high disposition to trust, it is concerning that trust remains low in many areas. Our overall trust index this year hovers at 38 percent (39 percent in 2019, down from 45 percent when we began this study five years ago). Of note, the trust index increases among those with a higher disposition to trust (up to 55 percent). • Younger Canadians exhibit a lower disposition to trust than older Canadians and have lower trust scores in many areas of our research.
  8. 8. Executive Summary 8 • The largest trust gaps in Canada are regional, with Albertan alienation and younger people who need to see the economic system and their leaders working for them. • An important area of concern, especially now, is low trust in our leaders. Employees give their employer a C grade in efforts to build trust internally. Further, the overall trust level of Canadians in CEOs has fallen from 55 percent in 2018 to 38 percent in 2020. • CEO trust levels are weakest with younger and lower paid employees. Moreover, when we asked Canadians who they trust as sources of reliable information, business executives were trusted by only 28 percent. • How leaders and businesses behave now and into the future will have an important impact on shaping trust levels of young people. It’s clear, especially now, that trust needs to be part of Canada’s recovery plan and our leaders need to understand and measure trust.
  9. 9. 9 THE RESULTS
  10. 10. Trust Defined What is Trust? There are a myriad of definitions of trust. In order to provide high-quality data and conclusions based on solid evidence, at the outset of the survey, we defined what we meant when we wrote “trust”. We defined trust as: “The willingness to be vulnerable to the actions of another party based on positive expectations of the intentions or behaviour of that party." When we surveyed Canadians this year in our general population survey, 85 percent agreed with this definition. In our employee study, 91 percent of respondents agreed with this definition. This definition is based on the widely cited work of Rousseau et al. (1998). 10
  11. 11. 11 Just as there are many definitions of trust, there are different ways of measuring trust. One way is measuring ‘propensity or disposition to trust’ – a personality trait that is a part of each individual. This trait informs how we tend to “see” others – in either an optimistic or pessimistic way. Disposition to trust develops as a result of previous developmental experiences, specific culture, and from other personality traits. A person with high trait-trust assumes most people are fair, honest and have good intentions. People with low trait-trust see others as selfish or devious and tend to be more cynical and skeptical themselves. The assumption that people are basically honest and well-intentioned has a number of important implications for the ability to function in complex social systems (Couch et al. 1996) Canadians’ Disposition to Trust
  12. 12. It takes time and life experience to build trust. Consistent with research, younger Canadians exhibit a lower disposition to trust than older Canadians and must be given the opportunity to further develop this aspect of themselves. Costa & McCrae (1992) 12 Many Canadians see Others as Honest, Trustworthy and Well-Intentioned ALL CANADIANS I think most of the people I deal with are honest and trustworthy I believe most people are well-intentioned My first reaction is to trust people
  13. 13. Younger Canadians are less disposed to trust than are older Canadians. High trust disposition 28% Moderate trust disposition 61% Low trust disposition 11% 13 Read as: 28% of the Canadian population are in the high trust disposition category; 29% of males and 27% of females are in that category. Individual Disposition to Trust is Heavily Informed by Age Total Male Female <25 25-49 50-59 60+ BC AB M/S ON QC AT High Trust Disposition Index
  14. 14. Client Name | Proof TRUST IN CANADA: OUR INSTITUTIONS, ORGANIZATIONS AND LEADERS
  15. 15. Canadians continue to express reservations in their willingness to trust the country’s basic institutions. Canada is not yet rebounding from low trust scores and is at our lowest point in five years. 15 Five institutional components of Canadian society were aggregated to create an overall trust score. This included trust in charities, media, small businesses, medium businesses, governments and large corporations. Canada’s Overall Trust Index Remains Stable but Weak 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
  16. 16. 16 Aggregate trust in charities, media, small businesses, medium businesses, governments and large corporations. Those over 50 years of age and Newcomers to Canada Have Higher Trust Scores 25-49 50+ Born in Canada Born elsewhere
  17. 17. No difference by gender; those 25-49 are the least trusting of Canadian institutions on an aggregate level. 17 Aggregate trust in charities, media, small businesses, medium businesses, governments and large corporations. Late Millennials and Gen-X are Least Trusting Total Male Female <25 25-49 50+ 2019 2020
  18. 18. And those who arrived more recently to Canada are more trusting of Canadian institutions on an aggregate level. 18 Aggregate trust in charities, media, small businesses, medium businesses, governments and large corporations. Newcomers to Canada Report Significantly Higher Trust Scores Canada’s Trust Index Score Born in Canada Born Elsewhere Longer than 15 years Under 15 years
  19. 19. Aggregate trust in charities, media, small businesses, medium businesses, governments and large corporations. 19 Alberta Least Trusting; Quebec & Atlantic More Trusting Total BC Alberta Man/Sask Ontario Quebec Atlantic 2019 2020
  20. 20. The Trust Disposition Score predicts aggregate trust ratings by a factor of over two to one. 20 Trust Disposition Levels Impact Trust General Ratings Significantly Canada’s Trust Index Score High Trust Disposition Moderate Trust Disposition Low Trust Disposition
  21. 21. Q:Thinking again about Canada, to what extent are you willing to trust the following organizational categories to be competent and effective and to do the right thing? 1 means you “trust very little” and 7 means you “trust a lot”. 21 In 2020 Trust is Rebounding in News Media & Large Corporations Slightly Not-for-Profits/Charities News Media Governments Small/Medium Corporations Large Corporations 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
  22. 22. BC AB M/S ONT QC ATL Not-for-Profits/Charities 51% 41% 53% 47% 52% 57% News Media 45% 36% 47% 41% 50% 54% Governments 38% 26% 31% 31% 37% 36% Small/Medium Corporations 38% 26% 31% 31% 37% 36% Large Corporations 28% 23% 20% 24% 34% 22% 22 Alberta Sets the Bar on Low Trust
  23. 23. Q: Thinking about Canada and the province and city you live in, please rank the people in each role according to where you live for how much you trust them to do what is right for Canada, Canadians and our society, using a seven point scale, where ‘1’ is “trust very little” and ‘7’ is “trust a lot”. 23 Trust in Political Leadership Remains Low The Governor General The Prime Minister Your Provincial Premier Your Community Mayor 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
  24. 24. BC AB M/S ONT QC ATL The Governor General 49% 43% 47% 47% 40% 51% The Prime Minister 40% 25% 32% 42% 42% 45% Your Premier 42% 38% 37% 28% 49% 36% Your Mayor 45% 41% 36% 43% 49% 52% Q: Thinking about Canada and the province and city you live in, please rank the people in each role according to where you live for how much you trust them to do what is right for Canada, Canadians and our society, using a seven point scale, where ‘1’ is “trust very little” and ‘7’ is “trust a lot”. 24 Trust in the Prime Minister is Acutely Low in Alberta, Manitoba & Saskatchewan
  25. 25. Trust in the judicial system is showing decline; financial markets and Parliament remain low. Q: Thinking about Canada, to what extent are you willing to trust the following institutions to operate competently and effectively and to do the right thing? 1 means you “trust very little” and 7 means you “trust a lot”. 25 Higher Trust for Uniquely Canadian Institutions, but Political Institutions are Considerably Lower Canadian Military RCMP Canadian Healthcare System Canadian Education System Free & Independent Press Canada’s Central Bank Canada’s Judicial System Canadian Financial Markets Canadian Senate Canadian Parliament 2018 2019 2020
  26. 26. 26 Trust in Many Canadian Institutions is Significantly Higher Among Those Over 50 Canadian Military RCMP Canadian Healthcare System Canadian Education System Free & Independent Press Canada’s Judicial System Canadian Senate Canadian Parliament 25-49 50+
  27. 27. Client Name | Proof <#> NATIONAL & LOCAL IDENTITY, VALUES PERFORMANCE & TRUST
  28. 28. Why National and Local Identities Matter Research has shown that the construct of ‘identity’ is highly correlated with trust. When we inquire about national or local identities, what we are measuring is the sum of each individual’s sense of belonging or “closeness” to a given nation, city or community. National and local identities occur as a result of common elements that people share and experience such as culture (e.g.; values), language, history and symbols and the “level of awareness” of these elements. We measured Canadians’ level of identification by asking this question: “When thinking about belonging to the place where you live, how close do you feel to…your town or city, province, Canada & North America. (Very close, Close, Not very close, Not close at all, Can’t choose) The Bottom Line: A key function of identity is to promote a wide radius of trust. Societies thrive on trust – but they need the widest possible radius in order to flourish. 28
  29. 29. Canadians Overall Claim to Have a Strong Sense of National identity. This is encouraging. Gen-Zs, Boomers and our Elder Generation feel the closest to Canada, while Millennials have the lowest sense of belonging across the board. Very/Somewhat Close to Canada Very/Somewhat Close to Province Very/Somewhat Close to CityQ: When thinking about belonging to the place you live, how close do you feel to… 29
  30. 30. Greater National Identity in Canada Correlates With Higher Levels of Institutional Trust The closer one claims to feel to Canada, the significantly more trusting they tend to be in the institutions that are empowered to protect and support them. Canadian Military RCMP Canadian Healthcare System Canadian Education System Free & Independent Press Canada’s Central Bank Canada’s Judicial System Canadian Financial Markets Canadian Senate Canadian Parliament Feel Close Not Close Closeness to Canada 30
  31. 31. Why the Evaluation of our Country's Values Performance Matters Values Performance is a key element of the construct of identity. The stronger the identity, the wider the radius of trust. We derived the values we inquired about from the experts at the Canadian Index of Well-Being. They include a composite index of 8 interconnected domains (Diversity, Fairness, Inclusion, Economic Security, Safety, Sustainability, Equity, Health). We added our own that are closely linked to identity (Freedom, Democracy) and current values we know to be in a state of change (like Privacy). Values Performance can also be an indicator of Canadians’ Quality of Life and can be used as a companion measure of social progress next to the GDP. 31
  32. 32. Our values inform our overall levels of trust in others. 32 Overall, Canadians do not Feel Canada is Living up to its Values Q: In thinking about Canada as a country, please rate how well you think Canada is performing in the following areas (listed as above) – Scale 1to 5; Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good, Excellent.
  33. 33. Total GenZ Millennials GenX Boomers Older Freedom 51% 56% 45% 50% 55% 60% Democracy 40% 43% 36% 38% 43% 54% Diversity 39% 47% 42% 40% 37% 20% Safety 37% 45% 37% 37% 34% 46% Health 31% 45% 31% 28% 27% 37% Inclusion 29% 34% 29% 29% 29% 19% Fairness 27% 35% 27% 25% 25% 23% Privacy 25% 36% 25% 25% 22% 29% Equity 25% 37% 27% 25% 19% 29% Sustainability 25% 36% 26% 23% 22% 27% Economic Security 12% 35% 22% 20% 17% 24% 33= significantly higher score compared to other generations; = significantly lower score compared to other generations Gen Z Most Optimistic About the Extent to Which Canada is Living up to its Values Boomers and Elder Canadians rate Canada significantly lower than other age cohorts. Millennials and Gen X are not far behind. This puts our sense of national identity at risk.
  34. 34. Low Values Performance Scores Impact our Level of Trust Scores represent the indicated group’s evaluation of Canada’s values performance on a scale of 100. Overall index score included for baseline comparison purposes. OVERALL VALUES INDEX SCORE Among those who say they feel close to Canada Among those who say they do not feel close to Canada Among highly trusting Canadians Among low trusting Canadians Among high trust disposition Canadians Among low trust disposition Canadians 34
  35. 35. TRUST SCORES FOR CORPORATE CANADA, CEOS AND SENIOR MANAGERS, BUSINESS SECTORS & INDIVIDUAL COMPANY RATINGS
  36. 36. CEO trust is highly dependent on income levels. Less affluent = less trusting of the CEO. Q: Thinking about Canada and the province and city you live in, please rank the people in each role according to where you live for how much you trust them to do what is right for Canada, Canadians and our society, using a seven point scale, where ‘1’ is “trust very little” and ‘7’ is “trust a lot”. 36 Trust in Canadian CEOs at an All Time Low 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 < $50K Income $50-150K Income Over $150K Income
  37. 37. WE ASKED CANADIANS WHO ARE EMPLOYED TO GRADE THEIR EMPLOYER ON A TRUST SCALE FROM A TO F. WE INDEXED THEIR RESPONSES TO PROVIDE GRADING.
  38. 38. . . . . . . . Q: If you were to grade your employer on their capacity to BUILD trust with external stakeholders (clients, customers, suppliers, partners etc.) what grade from an A+ to an F would you give them (where A+ means exceptional and F means failure)? The further employees are from the C-suite, the lower they will grade their employer. 38 Employees Give Their Employer a ‘C’ in Building Trust Total Senior Executives Middle Managers Junior Managers Administrative Workers Labourers Front Line Service
  39. 39. Hospitals and food retail most trusted; social media platforms least so. Q: Thinking about Canada and the economy, to what extent are you willing to trust the following industries to: operate competently and effectively and to do the right thing? 1 means you “trust very little” and 7 means you “trust a lot”. 39 Trust in Industry Sectors
  40. 40. Q: Thinking about the businesses and brands that operate within Canada, to what extent are you willing to trust the following companies to operate competently and effectively and to do the right thing? 40 Google has High Volume Trust, SNC Lavalin Trust is Lowest
  41. 41. The sharing economy platforms receive low level trust scores, although among younger Canadians, the scores are higher. 41 Trust is not Always Shared Total <25 25-49 50+ Airbnb Uber
  42. 42. The telecommunication companies are in the bottom third of trusted companies this year. 42 Telco’s Dial Wrong Number on Trust Telus Bell Rogers Huawei
  43. 43. Huawei and SNC Lavalin are at the bottom of the list in 2020. Facebook and Twitter remain low. 43 Trust Penalty Box Airbnb Uber Facebook Twitter Huawei SNC Lavalin
  44. 44. After a 6-point gain in 2019, Tim Hortons dropped those 6 points again in 2020. While relatively high among corporate entities in Canada, the decline underscores the need to continue to reinforce trust measures among Canadians on an ongoing basis. Region: BC 51% AB 49% M/S 50% ON 50% QC 62% ATL 63% 44 Trust Relapse for Tims? 2018 2019 2020
  45. 45. Having “values close to my own” is the #1 factor that makes a company more trustworthy. Q: On a scale of 1to 7 to what extent do you think each item below will make a company or brand MORE trustworthy, 1 means “very little” and 7 means you “trust a lot”. 45 Corporate Behaviours that Build Trust Having values that are close to my own Creating local employment opportunities Having a leader that communicates openly Is endorsed by my friends and family Having a brand, product or service that meets my needs Investing in my local community Being Canadian-owned and operated Having a clearly stated corporate or social purpose Being in a highly regulated sector Being innovative Committing to inclusion and diversity Supporting charitable causes Advocating for positive social change Knowing someone who likes working there Having a compelling story Is endorsed by an influencer that I follow
  46. 46. Client Name | Proof <#> TRUST IN INFORMATION PROVIDERS & SOURCES
  47. 47. There are clearly three levels of trust in information providers. Top trust tier includes friends and family, doctors, scientists and educators. Trust scores are relatively consistent regardless of age. Q: On a scale of 1 to 7, please indicate how much you are willing to trust each of the following CATEGORIES OF PEOPLE for RELIABLE information. 1 means you “trust very little” and 7 means you “trust a lot”. 47 Family & Friends, Doctors, Scientists and Educators are in the Trust Hall of Fame Friends & Family Medical Doctors Scientists Educators Journalists Bankers Religious Leaders Business Executives Bloggers/ Influencers Celebrities Politicians
  48. 48. 48 Bloggers and Celebrity Endorsers Two Times More Trusted Among Younger Canadians Bloggers/Influencers Celebrities <25 25-49 50+ <25 25-49 50+
  49. 49. BC AB M/S ONT QC ATL Family & Friends 80% 73% 78% 77% 79% 83% Medical Doctors 78% 69% 75% 74% 79% 83% Scientists 71% 62% 69% 69% 76% 77% Educators 70% 58% 65% 63% 68% 75% Journalists 46% 34% 39% 38% 52% 59% Bankers 45% 37% 40% 37% 42% 55% Religious Leaders 33% 34% 39% 35% 27% 45% Business Executives 30% 26% 32% 27% 31% 26% Bloggers/Influencers 19% 13% 20% 16% 17% 22% Celebrities 17% 14% 14% 12% 19% 18% Politicians 12% 10% 8% 12% 16% 12% 49= significantly higher score compared to other regions; = significantly lower score compared to other regions Regional Trust Breakdown in Information Providers and Sources
  50. 50. More than half of all Canadians say they trust the institution of Canada’s free & independent press… more than they say they trust the individual providers. 50 News Media is Weathering the Storm Free & Independent Press News Media Journalists
  51. 51. 51 Q: On a scale of 1 to 7, please indicate how much you are willing to TRUST each of the following to provide you with RELIABLE information. 1 means you “trust very little” and 7 means you “trust a lot”. Traditional more Trusted than Social Media Platforms
  52. 52. Total <25 25-49 50+ Newspapers 55% 55% 48% 60% Television 53% 43% 46% 61% Online news 49% 44% 45% 53% Radio 53% 38% 49% 60% Facebook 25% 29% 28% 22% Instagram 24% 42% 27% 19% Twitter 23% 35% 24% 19% 52 = significantly higher score compared to other regions; = significantly lower score compared to other regions Age has an Impact on Trust Across Media
  53. 53. 67% of all Canadians are verifying information all or most of the time. This remains true across regional and demographic cross-sections of the Canadian population. 53 Q: When the information you are consuming is on a topic that is important to you, how often will you verify it’s true through other sources? With the Fall of Trust Comes the Rise of Verification All the time Most of the time Some of the time Rarely Never
  54. 54. 54 Q: On a scale of 1 to 7, please indicate how much you are willing to TRUST the following sources to provide you with RELIABLE information. 1 means you “trust very little” and 7 means you “trust a lot ”. Product Sampling and Search Results Have Highest Trust Levels Product Sampling Internet Search Results Online Reviews Company Websites Traditional Media Ads Email from Brands Digital Ads Social Posts from Brands Network Shared Posts Blogs 2016 2020
  55. 55. TRUST TAKE-AWAYS FOR LEADERS 55
  56. 56. LIVING VALUES SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS A company’s values are even more important in a time of crisis and the litmus test of all communications. Communications during this pandemic that align with your company’s values will become a channel for building integrity and competence-based trust across your organization. 56
  57. 57. 57 EMPATHY = RELEVANCE You won’t build trust if your messages aren’t relevant. In this type of environment there is unprecedented fear and anxiety. Communication becomes most relevant to people when it expresses an understanding of their experience.
  58. 58. 58 TRUST BY EXAMPLE: MIDDLE MANAGERS ARE MEGA INFLUENCERS Although senior leaders must always remember to walk their talk, employees are generally more inclined to trust their direct manager. Earn the trust of your middle managers and then empower them to build the trust capacity of your organization.
  59. 59. 59 UNDERSTAND NEW CANADIANS AND BUILD RELATIONSHIPS FOR THE LONG HAUL New Canadians are the main source of population growth in Canada. They arrive in Canada with higher trust than multigenerational Canadians, but after 15 years the window of trust closes and they become less trusting.
  60. 60. MEASURE YOUR TRUST If you aren’t measuring trust, you don’t know if you are building it. An accurate measurement of organizational and leadership trust should be part of every CEO's performance report. TRUST IS CRITICAL TO THE SUCCESS OF YOUR BUSINESS NOW, MORE THAN EVER. 60
  61. 61. Thank You FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR STUDIES AND HOW TO BUILD TRUST IN YOUR ORGANIZATION, PLEASE CONTACT: Bruce MacLellan bmaclellan@getproof.com 416.969.2727 Vanessa Eaton veaton@getproof.com 416.969.2713 cantrustindex.ca

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