Aviva has apologized after mistakenly referring to thousands of customers as "Michael" in emails.
The insurance giant said that a temporary technical error was behind the blunder – adding that there had been no wider privacy issues relating to people's personal data.
It is understood that several thousand customers were mistaken for Michaels.
"We sent out some emails last week to existing customers, which, as a result of a temporary technical error in our mailing template, mistakenly referred to customers as 'Michael,'" Aviva's statement read.
"We've apologized to these customers and reassured them that the only error in the email was the use of the incorrect name as a greeting. There was no issue with personal data; the remainder of the email and its content was correct."
Famous Michaels include Sir Michael Caine and Monty Python star Sir Michael Palin.
Famous Michaels include Sir Michael Caine (Isabel Infantes/PA)
"Getting a first name wrong is one thing, but what if it was my data – my address or policy information – being sent to someone else instead?" one accidental Michael, whose real name is Andrew, quoted on the BBC website said.
Twitter brought the jokes.
@SkyNews I'm sure they've been called a lot worse 🙄😂— Em (@Em)1580233467.0
@SkyNews Personally I didn’t mind that much...— Michael (@Michael)1580233222.0
@SkyNews I would hate to be called Michael. What a tragedy....the insult!— Julz (@Julz)1580233067.0
- Is your name not Michael? - No it's Bruce - That's going to cause a little confusion. Mind if we call you 'Michae… https://t.co/Pg1lGYtriD— Nigel Quin (@Nigel Quin)1580213256.0
@BBCNews You know the one to blame is the Aviva computer programmer named Michael— Not Good Stops (@Not Good Stops)1580179943.0
Some real-life Michaels took to Twitter in a light-hearted defense of their name as news of Aviva's blunder emerged.
"I really don't understand the problem?" one wrote.
"Lucky them, I can't even get some people to call me Michael (instead of Mike)," another said.
Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show 869 babies born in England and Wales in 2018 were named Michael – making it the 74th most popular name for boys that year, with Oliver in first place.