‘Gender pay gap bot’ targets law firms tweeting about International Women’s Day

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A Twitter bot is targeting big firms on International Women’s Day with details of their gender pay gap.

The account @PayGapApp is retweeting law firm and other employers’ tweets commemorating the global day with an auto response detailing their median hourly pay gap using data from a UK government website.

“Stop posting platitudes,” the account’s banner reads. “Start fixing the problem.”

This year’s IWD theme is ‘#BreakTheBias’ and so a lot of the firms’ tweets describe how they’re committed to breaking gender inequality and calling out bias.

It’s all very awkward, and here are some of the law firms targeted so far:

Bevan Brittan


Blake Morgan

Browne Jacobson

Digby Brown

DLA Piper



Mishcon de Reya

The latest comments from across Legal Cheek

The Law Society

Simmons & Simmons

Shearman & Sterling


Watson Farley & Williams


White & Case

Winckworth Sherwood

Womble Bond Dickinson

The celebratory tweets posted by some firms like Harper Macleod, Thorntons Law and Ward Hadaway appear to be no longer visible.

All employers with 250 or more employees are required by law to publish their gender pay gap figures each year. These can all be searched for and compared using the government’s official ‘gender pay gap service’ which is understood to be the bot’s point of reference.

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Just Anonymous

Can the Gender Pay Gap Bot tell us, of the said gender pay gaps, how much is caused by discrimination (which we should be concerned by); and how much is caused by men and women, on average, making different life choices?

If it can’t, then I don’t care.



As a woman I both agree and disagree with your statement. Though I do think your comment is tinged with misogyny and a lack of understanding of the pay gap. What choices? The ones pushed on women over the last millennia by society perhaps?

I think a lot of this data is absolutely skewed by women in lower level office jobs (sometimes by choice) such as PAs etc., which is a little unfair to the companies. However, there’s also more men in positions such as mail room and facilities etc. in the larger firms, so it shouldn’t be that skewed. From experience I know lots of these firms have pay gaps in jobs of equal work too, which is obviously an issue. A woman choosing to take maternity etc. should NOT affect her pay scales moving forward!


Just Anonymous

If you consider my comment ‘tinged with misogyny’, then you did not read it properly.

Any discrimination suffered by women in the workplace is unacceptable. My comment made that perfectly clear.

The issue is to what extent the gender pay gap is evidence of discrimination. Without further evidence, I do not accept that it is. Without more, the gender pay gap is a meaningless statistic that deserves no attention whatsoever.

I also do not find your response particularly coherent. In the first paragraph, you ask me ‘what choices?’ as though you do not know what I am talking about; yet, in the very next paragraph, you talk about women choosing to work in certain jobs, thereby skewing figures, thus demonstrating that you know exactly what I am talking about.



I read it properly – did you read mine?

I was asking what choices you’re referring to – is it women choosing certain jobs or is it related to raising a family?

The former is directly linked to discrimination within the education system, which is an issue that needs to be addressed all the way back to nursery when children play doctors and nurses.

Woman are encouraged into support roles and have been since we were allowed to work, and have fought ever since to gain credibility. You’d have to be dense to not see that. I remember it from when I was younger, though I don’t know if it’s improved yet given the focus on women in STEM. That initiative alone shows that if more women were encouraged to go into male dominated fields from a young age, you’d see a shift in the workforce and subsequently, a reduction in the pay gap.

If your choices refer to the latter, again people often mention ‘life choices’ it’s related to women going on maternity and/or having to return part-time. This is once again a societal issue that requires shifting.


Just Anonymous

The choice I am referring to is more broad than the two narrow options you’re offering me. It is the approach that the genders choose to take towards their work-life balance. This can manifest in all sorts of ways: whether to have children; whether to seek promotion; whether to retire; whether to change jobs etc.

Put simply, the hypothesis is that, on average, men are prepared to devote more of their lives to work then women are. Of course, there is huge individual variation within these cohorts. You will find individual women who value work above all, and individual men who value family life above all (and all ranges inbetween). However, the gender pay gap is an average figure which reflects what the average is doing – not what individuals are doing.

You appear to be suggesting that women have no free choice, in that everything that might appear to be choice in fact results from some kind of discrimination. I do not accept that. For example, when Lady Black retired early from the Supreme Court to spend more time in retirement with her family, I do not accept that that was anything other than a woman exercising a free choice.

Similarly, in 21st century Britain, I do not accept that women actually think that they cannot enter certain fields (and need to be educated that they can). All professions are (rightly) open to men and women; everyone knows it; and my experience of school, university and now practice is that women know perfectly well that, subject to ability, they can do anything they want.

You are free to disagree with my perspective. However, just as bare assertions of misogyny are not persuasive, neither are bare accusations that people who disagree with you are ‘dense’.

Eatin' Popcorn

lmao INTERNET FIGHT! You both need to use more ad hominem attacks I particularly enjoy those.


Get lost. You’re just a knuckle dragging male chauvinist hoping I’ll be silent, barefoot and pregnant and not bothering you unless it’s to give you your dinner, pipe and slippers when you get home, right? I’ve got news for you: it’s 2022 and the world has moved on. Get used to it or get out of my face.

Random passer-by

The idea you are proposing that Just Anonymous hates women (which is the definition of misogyny, a word so misused these days its unbelievable) because of his initial quite reasonable comment is exactly what is wrong with people in western liberal democracies these days. You have a higher standard of living than almost any human being in the history of this planet and you accuse someone of hate because you disagree with some parts of what he says and think you are a victim somehow. So pathetic.



It’s funny with misogynists. When you call one out a few others come out of the woodwork. This tactic of ganging up on women to bully them may have worked years ago, and allowed you and your type to oppress women, but no longer, I’m pushing back now. So unless you have anything worth saying please keep it to yourself.



It’s funny with misandrists. When you call one out a few others come out of the woodwork. This tactic of ganging up on men to bully them may have worked years ago, and allowed you and your type to oppress men, but no longer, I’m pushing back now. So unless you have anything worth saying please keep it to yourself.

Random passer by

I’m not going to call you a misandrist or any other label, nor accuse you of any form of ism. However it is clear to me you genuinely see yourself as brave as some sort of civil rights champion because you are standing up to meanie weenie male bullies on the internet. Real life isn’t your boarding school or the Exeter Uni student union. So many amazing women in this world and this teenage snowflake wants a pat on the back because she stood up to guys that, shock horror, disagreed with her views.


Thanks for proving my point. Now get lost.


What was your point?


Too many Anons – can’t tell who’s responding to whom.


Not the only bot on the circuit, it would seem.


Problem Solved

Thank God you’ve cracked it. The gender gap (widely accepted as representing both women getting paid less for the same work in equivalent roles and being less likely to hold higher paying jobs within an organisation due due a patriarchal work environment, a society drowning in male privilege, and businesses actively failing to support women’s working styles, skills, or provide equitable adjustments) is actually caused by women choosing to go home early and bake cakes. Phew!



Problem Solved – 100%. This is what I was trying to explain to. Of course though, this (quite obviously a) bloke would have a better understanding than you and I when it comes to women in the workplace 😉






Figures without context. Lame.


Eatin' Popcorn

Lame? that is ABLEIST!



I’m a lady!



Unless gender pay gap data breaks down the split between role and experience, it’s a useless statistic. Pay discrepancy information between associates and paralegals is worthless. The same for NQ and 5PQE, other than perhaps a grumbling 5PQE.



Two different demographics – one of which contains disproportionately more people taking career breaks, and therefore getting to partnership later or not at all…

And the resulting pay differential is evidence of what, exactly?



Men not doing their share at home, so women can thrive too?


Bored of 'diversity' whinges

The sex pay gap is nonsense (sex, as gender is an invented construct). It is a made-up figure for those craving victimhood. Men and women make different choices. They therefore get different outcomes. People doing the same job are paid the same: it has long since been unlawful to do otherwise. As politically unpalatable as this may be to the Woke Taliban, the reality is that given freedom of choice, women make different choices to men:

“84% of working women told ForbesWoman that staying home to raise children is a financial luxury they aspire to…more than 1 in 3 resent their partner for not earning enough to make that dream a reality.”

Is ‘Opting Out’ The New American Dream For Working Women?, Meghan Casserly, Forbes Magazine, 12 September 2012.

See also, “Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap — and What Women Can Do About It, published in 2017, which bluntly warns:

“Controversial and exhaustively researched, gender expert Warren Farrell’s latest book Why Men Earn More takes as its stunning argument the idea that bias-based unequal pay for women is largely a myth, and that women are most often paid less than men not because they are discriminated against, but because they have made lifestyle choices that affect their ability to earn.Why Men Earn More argues that while discrimination sometimes plays a part, both men and women unconsciously make trade-offs that affect how much they earn. Farrell clearly defines the 25 different workplace choices that affect women’s and men’s incomes — including putting in more hours at work, taking riskier jobs or more hazardous assignments, being willing to change location, and training for technical jobs that involve less people contact — and provides readers with specific, research-supported ways for women to earn higher pay. Why Men Earn More, with its brashness in the face of political correctness, is sure to ignite a storm of media controversy that will help to make this thoroughly pragmatic expose. Warren Farrell’s next bestseller.

Over in the UK, Annabel Denham wrote this concise summary of why the gender pay pay hysteria is simply left-wing rubbish:
** Feminists mislead women with talk of the gender pay gap **
Annabel Denham, 30 November 2020, The Times

Amid the biggest health and economic crisis Britain has faced in peacetime, the Fawcett Society saw fit on November 20 to celebrate the highlight of its year: Equal Pay Day. As usual, it was accompanied by hysterical cries that women were “working for free until the end of December!”

It has been illegal since the 1970 Equal Pay Act to pay men and women different wages for the same work. Fawcett’s assertion is based on cherry-picking data that paints a misleading picture and feeds a tired narrative of sexism in the workplace.

What’s more, it uses mean rather than median data (in contrast with the Office for National Statistics), which enables it to include a small number of exceptionally high salaries, distorting the true picture. And it fails to take into account key differentials: the type of job, educational qualifications, work experience, or less tangible qualities that lead an organisation to rate one employee above another.

The real problem with the determination of groups like the Fawcett Society to “expose” gender pay gaps — such as the requirement for organisations with more 250 employees to publish wage data — is that it harms business. It triggers unjust demonisation of companies by comparing the salary of a male chief executive with that of a female trainee. It deters businesses from hiring female staff in lower-paid but essential roles. It sows discord among workers. And it tells young women that, no matter how hard they work or how talented they might be, they will never be as successful as their male counterparts.

In the coming weeks and months feminists will doubtless ramp up their panicked reports of women faring worse than men during the pandemic. This isn’t supported by the evidence. From July to September the female unemployment rate was 4.3 per cent, compared with 5.2 per cent for men. The redundancy rate, per thousand, was 10.9 for women and 11.6 for men. Women are disproportionately employed in the public sector, where workers are more concerned about salary freezes than they are about job losses.

The left’s fixation with pay needs to end. Why shouldn’t people choose careers that offer a better work-life balance or flexible hours instead of big headline salaries? Why should jobs be evaluated on wage rather than fulfilment? Far better to circumvent the obsession with female victimhood, celebrate the astounding revolution in women’s lives over the past century, and focus on those areas where women still deserve better.

Annabel Denham is director of communications for the Institute of Economic Affairs think tank

Kate Andrews, Economics Correspondent at The Spectator, has also written on it extensively. For example:

“** The problem with the gender pay gap obsession, Spectator, 4 April 2019 **

Would we condone teaching a child that 1+1 = 3, for the sake of increasing her interest in maths? No. Would we praise flat earth theorists for getting people talking about the health of the planet? No. So why are we giving credence to meaningless and often deceptive gender pay gap statistics, which have us focusing on women’s issues in a way that is damaging to women? With Brexit-mania dominating our national debate, you may have missed that today is the deadline for large organisations to report their gender pay gap data.

Now into the second year of reporting, it has become increasingly clear that the influx of data from the gender pay gap reporting measures fails to provide any meaningful insight into fair pay for men and women in the workplace. …The measures don’t even distinguish between full-time and part-time workers, which makes a huge difference to results.

To highlight just how bad the reported data is, look at the accusations made against the National Health Service and its alleged gender pay gap. The public body has been flagged for its 23 per cent gender pay gap – a gap that increases to 33 per cent when just looking at GPs. But the majority of NHS professionals are on a national pay scale, almost completely removing questions of gender discrimination in wages, as they are not subjectively set by managers, but instead set irrespective of circumstance by the state.

Pay differences in the NHS are not about gendered pay gaps, but rather the number of hours worked by employees. Indeed, over 50 per cent of GPs are women, and they are more likely to work part-time. This is not rocket science, nor is it a conspiracy theory. It’s fairly simple stuff when the data is presented accurately. Unfortunately, the current legislation is not rooted in reason.”

Also see:

Stop unfairly demonising firms that have large gender pay gaps, City AM, 5 April 2019,

The Gender Pay Gap Reporting Measures: 2019 Update, IEA, 4 April 2019,

Nature/Nurture. Sex differences are evolutionary. Social influence and resource control,involved more male-on-male violence for men and communal activities for women. Sex differences from the imposition of stereotypes and cannot be altered by the edicts of gender theorists or central government policy scolds.

Choices, not discrimination. Sex differences in work-life trade-offs and occupational attainment persist despite much money and time devoted to eliminating them. As long as men and women have control over their work-life choices, women’s greater investment in children means that reams of policy edicts, labor laws, and other forms of social engineering will not change sex differences.
Politically Incorrect Paper of the Day: The Persistence of Pay Inequality
by Alex Tabarrok, October 8, 2020 at 7:25 am [extract: Gender wage gaps appear even in markets where workplace discrimination is impossible or unlikely. Uber driver’s for example are assigned trips using a gender-blind algorithm and earn according to a known formula based on time and distance of trip. Yet, a small but persistent gender gap of about 7% exists ( which appears to be due mostly to the fact that male drivers drive a little bit faster, choose to work in more congested areas, and have a bit more experience. Litman et al. (2020) ( show that the same kind of difference also show up in earnings on Mechanical Turk…]

Many people have an agenda though, so the execrable quality of articles like this, and the ensuing well-deserved excoriation beneath the line, will continue. These articles are not journalism, they are propaganda worthy of Pravda.


Bored of 'diversity' whinges

No criticism of Legal Cheek, incidentally – it’s the Twitter bot I’m criticising here.


Details are important

There’s not enough information about how this ‘median hourly rate’ is calculated, which can make the gender pay gap (if there is one) a lot worse than it is.

For it’s credit, it would seem to take into account career breaks and part-time work.

However, it does not seem to account for more women being in lower-paid positions, e.g. legal secretaries, paralegals, and more men in higher ones, e.g. partners. Are wages from all levels of hierarchy being added up and divided by hours worked, or being compared per level, and then some sort of proportionally calculated (since 10% employees will be partners, 40% associates, 20% trainees etc) average taken from the gap percentage for each level?



That’s a lot of URLS. I wish I had time to read them all.

The stats certainly need contextualisation and interrogation if they are to be of any use, I agree. Nevertheless, much of the ‘these stats are worthless/it’s a woke conspiracy’ commentary on here reveals a wider reluctance (bordering on the obtuse) to engage with the real-world complexity underpinning contemporary gender dynamics in a whole range of contexts.

Let’s park the numbers for a second and look behind some of the disingenuous language being bandied around below the line here. Women’s ‘life choices’ and ‘career breaks’, for a start – shall we just be clear that for the most part we’re talking about having kids? Yes, often women ‘choose’ to have kids. Often after significant deliberation. And often it is a shared decision with a partner – they are also choosing, it’s not simply ‘her’ choice. How couples decide to raise those kids and apportion the work/childcare split is necessarily a matter for them. No doubt there are plenty of people who would like to have kids and stay at home and do the very valuable job of raising those kids, with emphasis on that rather than on a career. More power to them.

But let’s be real for a second; in the instances where a woman doesn’t feel that childcare v career should be a zero sum game, the joint decision taken by a couple is going to disproportionately effect her every time. The Shared Parental Leave system introduced in 2015 has been an utter disaster. Less than 2% of dads took it up, mainly because it is overly complex (trust me, we did it), favoured set-ups where the mum was earning more than the dad to start with (statistically less likely for all the reasons we are discussing) and due to a general reluctance from employers to support it. If the policy doesn’t work people won’t go for it. If they don’t go for it, they won’t step out of conventional thinking. If they don’t ask their employers for it employers won’t really concern themselves with it. Then there won’t be any attitudinal change over the long term either from employers or employees. In addition, childcare is so ludicrously expensive in this country that for women in lower paying jobs to go back to work would see the household run at a loss. These are but two fundamental social policy dimensions underpinning the issues we’re talking about here.

When my mum left school in the 50s she was told she would either be a secretary or a housewife and not to bother thinking beyond that. The same message was delivered to every single girl in her class. Can any part of you concede that the same set of social attitudes that encouraged that girl to think of herself so restrictively was also writ large – implicitly and explicitly – across every sector of society? And that though we hope (I hope) that the general trend is progressive, it takes generations for thinking and practice to change? Policy plays a role in catalysing change but it has to be well developed.

Put another way, if you think there are no residual traces/legacies of endemic sexism in society than I’m not sure where you are living but I want in! Also, while we can all agree as a matter of fact that laws exists to protect against discrimination, that doesn’t mean that discrimination doesn’t still exist, even at institutional scale (see recent Met Police issues).

These things are slippery and insidious and sometimes only partially-visible, they manifest in myriad ways that no set of statistical data can speak to on its own. The notion of a gender pay gap doesn’t exist in a vacuum, it’s part of a matrix of historical, social and cultural factors.

So, yes, take aim at the way in which gender pay gap stats are collected, reported, analysed and interpreted by all means. But don’t pretend that the pay gap can’t be an indicator of discrimination just because the stats haven’t been crunched. Those who would demand a clearer link between the gender pay gap and discrimination are right to an extent, but there’s just a lingering sense of ‘prove it!’ when you only have to have been alive in the world for five minutes to understand that there is a whole cocktail of social, cultural and historical factors that has produced the pay gap in the first place.


Woman Laywer

This is the best comment on the thread.

The same people who are (rightly) pointing out the reductive nature of gender pay gap data are also making disingenuous claims about about the choices made by women. We should frame these choices as difficult decisions being faced by women, rather than being made entirely of their own free will.

Yes, women may choose to take career breaks to raise children more often than their male peers. But this choice needs to be contextualised within a society which expects the mother to be the primary carer of a child. How many men would happily take several years out of their career to raise their children? Very few. Even with the advent of paternity and shared parental leave, women are still predominantly the ones who take the most time out of their career.

The NHS statistic from Kate Andrews (of whom I’m a fan) is a good example. And this salary banding can be applied across the public sector. Salaries are determined on a national scale. It is impossible – not only legally, but practically – to pay a woman less than a man of the same seniority. Yet it is also a fact that there are far fewer women at the most senior levels of the Civil Service. Why? Because many women’s careers have been held back and stretched out by their taking several years out in their 30s to raise children. Yes, they made this choice – and yes, many will have gladly made this choice – but this decision was largely expected of them, by their spouses, their families, and society at large.

From my experience, I actually suspect that there are fewer women who would want to reach the highest levels of corporate law. It is not a pleasant environment, I don’t anticipate staying in this career long enough to make a dent in the gender pay gap.

The debate on women’s equality cannot be couched entirely in terms of raw data on pay and neither can disparities between men and women be dismissed as resulting from free choices. Both of these positions overlook the complex realities of navigating the world – especially the corporate world – as people of different genders.


Bored of 'diversity' whinges

You’ve reinforced my points. You noted:

1. “How many men would happily take several years out of their career to raise their children? Very few. Even with the advent of paternity and shared parental leave, women are still predominantly the ones who take the most time out of their career.”

2. “From my experience, I actually suspect that there are fewer women who would want to reach the highest levels of corporate law. It is not a pleasant environment, I don’t anticipate staying in this career long enough to make a dent in the gender pay gap.”

You’re absolutely correct. No one is forced to make these choices: it is a decision for individual women and men, within their respective relationships. Demanding – as the Woke Taliban effectively do – that women must make the same choices as men is regressive nonsense. Pay differentials then flow from people’s different choices.



‘No one is forced to make these choices: it is a decision for individual women and men, within their respective relationships. Demanding – as the Woke Taliban effectively do – that women must make the same choices as men is regressive nonsense. Pay differentials then flow from people’s different choices.’

Your lines of argument are so persistently myopic that I’m half-convinced you’re a wind-up merchant. Assuming for one second you are serious, however, I wonder if you would concede, as a baseline principle, that choices are not made in a vacuum and that their consequences differ depending on the societies within which they are made? And that the way those choices affect the decision-maker go some way to reflecting the value systems of those societies at any given time? Pay differentials and pay gaps are metrics that also reveal something to us about our society and where we’re at.

It’s not ‘woke taliban’ to put forward arguments in favour of policies that help mothers return to work more quickly (should they want to) or help dads spend more time with their new kids (should they want to), or to make it more economically viable for people to have kids and have a job and also be able to pay for childcare.

The poor design of the Shared Parental Leave policy is/was reflective of a particular set of assumptions and prevailing attitudes at the time, not least the Tory government’s. Norway, to give but one example, has got this licked. In that country, the choice to have children has a set of different implications; it doesn’t have to come at the expense of career progression to nearly the same degree as it does in the UK. ‘Why don’t you move to Norway then?!’ I hear you ask, petulantly, deliberately choosing to play the wo(man), not the ball. Because I’m making the point that pay differentials and other markers of inequality or equivalence – and our varying attitudes towards them – are not fixed concepts, they are determined by the societies from which they emerge and in my case I want to see more progress on closing the gaps.

Your ‘have children, accept the consequences’ approach once again reduces the argument to a dead end/zero sum dynamic. It’s just fundamentally anti-progressive. That’s fine, whatever, but it’s your value system and others are available.

Finally, I’m not sure anyone here has suggested that women must make the same choices as men. I’m not even sure what you mean by it. Could you point me towards that assertion?


Bored of 'diversity' whinges

Thank you for your reply. I think we’re actually in substantive agreement: I was, through expedience, rebutting the position articulated in most of the media article about the so-called ‘pay gap’. If, as I suspect I did, I mischaracterised your position, I apologise.

I agree that parental leave should be equal for men and women, and that jobs should be as flexible as possible to enable people to juggle kids and careers. Interestingly, the case law seems to be less egalitarian than I (and I suspect you too) would like: – extract:

“Employers may also want to consider that the limited statutory pay for shared parental leave has contributed to its low take-up, and unequal sharing of childcare responsibilities has in turn been seen as contributing to the gender pay gap. These issues are clearly on the Government’s agenda following last year’s consultation on possible reform to family-friendly leave, but it is yet to announce any changes.”

I thought that judgment was regressive at the time, and I remain of that view. Where I suspect you and I differ however, is that I believe that whatever we do, major differences will persist, because men and women make different choices. That’s most evident from Scandinavia where, despite egalitarian ideals, men persist in pursuing engineering in disproportionate numbers, while women choose nursing – to pick but two examples.

I therefore consider that whatever tweaks we make around legislation and job design, there will always be a gap. The narrative usually conveyed by activists – that this is due to discrimination – is simply dishonest.

Your data are meaningless

Now is the time to address the median gender pay gap! Outsource receptionist staff, canteen staff and cleaners and insource maintenance and delivery services. That ought to move the dial on what is a pointless statistic.



Your solution is to take women’s jobs away and give more to men. You are ridiculous.


Your data are meaningless

But my proposal would reduce the gender gap used by these bots! Is that not what you want?

Relying on median income “gender pay gap” figures for anything is ridiculous.


Get a Grip People.

People are writing 500 page books in the comments section of a British legal tabloid website regarding an article that concerns the activities of a bot on a social media platform that centres around highlighting a peripheral social problem.

Touch some grass people!



You’re dangerously close to calling women hysterical for being annoyed people don’t understand how structures in place discriminate towards women and contribute to the pay gap. YOU need to get a grip.


Get a Grip People.

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck….


Bored of 'diversity' whinges

I’m touched by your concern, but look at the dates within my earlier post: it’s 3 years old. The Woke Taliban pay gap cr@p was nonsense then, and it’s nonsense now. There’s no need to write anything from scratch, just copy and paste.

Each new generation of young men needs to understand that women are trying to impose affirmative action and blackmail to force de facto quotas at their expense, and each new generation of young women gets the opportunity to contrive, fetishise and weaponize victimhood in pursuit of status, resources and self-aggrandizement – or to pursue success based solely on their merits.



I think by now everyone realises that the pay gap is because people in different jobs earn different amounts. It has nothing to do with gender.



Absolutely hilarious – how embarrassing for marketing at these firms!



Comments are closed.

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