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Tragic death of Mita Diran blamed on agency overwork

Unlike the story below, this is not funny at all.

Mita Diran, a copywriter at WPP-owned Y&R Indonesia collapsed and died after what’s claimed to be a 30-hour shift at the agency, not an unusual imposition apparently.
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That the agency then sent out a public message (although one which didn’t involve liability, obviously) and closed for a day means absolutely bugger all. Neither is the suggestion that over-consumption of a local energy drink was to blame – how else would you stay awake?

This isn’t the first case in advertising – the same sort of thing happened to an employee at Ogilvy in China (owned by guess who) recently.

It happens in other industries too, of course. In London an over-worked intern in an investment bank died recently, which led to a similar (brief) outburst of wailing on the part of the management muppets who think people can produce anything of worth working under such pressures. The fact that it’s inhuman as well is probably too complex for them to grasp.

Will anything change? Not until someone, a family member maybe or campaigning group, takes the offenders to court and hits them where it hurts – in the pocket. Because, in the ‘Math Men’ era it’s all about money.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

5 comments

  1. Well written. Y&R Indonesia should be pressured into officially releasing a document requesting employees not to work over 10 hours a day. It seems that Y&R is trying to get away with “our hearts are with Mita’s family and friends”, “we lost one of our own” etc. That’s not good enough.

  2. As I posted on AdScam. Even worse was the poor unfortunate AE lady at Y&R, New York, who got cut in half by a falling elevator. Another lady employee who was stuck in the elevator for two hours with the half body is suing Y&R. I hope she takes them for millions.
    Cheers/George

  3. Yes Y&R driven these days by greed and not great work!!!!

  4. In-house I think George

  5. @Stephen… That would obviously be a shithouse…
    Happy New Year to everyone.
    Cheers/George

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