Ogilvy Philippines employee dies sparking claims of overwork

A brand strategist at Ogilvy Philippines died this week, leading to speculation that agency overwork contributed to his death. Mark Dehasa died of pneumonia on Sunday after working long hours on a project two days earlier ahead of a meeting, AdWeek reported. According to the article, Dehasa began feeling unwell and asked to go to the hospital, where he later died.

Dehasa had been working for the Manila agency’s PR division for less than year before his death and had previously worked for Publicis, JWT and BBDO.

Ogilvy Philippines CEO Elly Puya said: “It is with great sadness that we confirm the sudden passing of our colleague Mark Dehesa from complications leading to pneumonia on Sunday February 19, 2017. Mark was a much loved and important member of our family in the Philippines, and our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family, and friends at this very difficult time.”

His death has sparked fresh concerns related to agency working hours several months after the death of a young employee at Dentsu Japan, whose suicide was publicly attributed to overwork by the company. Her suicide led to the resignation of CEO Tadashi Ishii and changes to the company’s overtime policies.

Matsuri Takahashi


After hearing of his death, Ogilvy copywriter and a former colleague of Dehasa’s Jeff Stelton wrote on Facebook: “We do it almost to the point of martyrdom; sacrificing our time with our families, dates with our loved ones, but most importantly, our health. But with the untimely passing of yet another young colleague, I feel like it’s time we say ‘no’ to this unnecessary martyrdom. It’s time to say no to getting up for a 9am. presentation when you finished work at 4 in the morning.”




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