Death of Mita Diran reflects ‘failure of account management’

Mita Diran

Mita Diran

The death of a young creative in Indonesia earlier this week reflects the failure of the account servicing function in advertising, an agency boss has suggested.

Mita Diran, a copywriter for Y&R Indonesia and daughter of Fortune ECD Yani Sharizal, slipped into a coma then died after working continuously for almost three days fueled by energy drinks, it emerged yesterday.

Her last tweet read:  “30 hours of working and still going strooong.”

Henry Saputra, the long-time chairman of media and ad agencies Publicis and Zenith Optimedia Indonesia, said that he feels that Diran’s sad passing “confirmed the lack of project management capabilities at both a client and agency level.”

Clients are too tough on agencies insisting on unrealistic deadlines. But agencies are too willing to accept these deadlines without thinking carefully about how to meet them, he said.

“Many clients insist that deadlines are met, but have not briefed their agencies early enough,” Saputra said. “And agencies accept these deadlines without considering how to manage the workload,” he said.

Y&R, which has expressed its condolences to Diran’s family, has said it is too early to respond to questions about the tragedy.

Her death comes six months after a young Ogilvy PR executive, 24 year-old Li Yuan, died from a heart attack in China after working late nights continually for a month.

Comments


  1. Vlad
    18 Dec 13
    11:23 am

  2. @Why this won’y change

    You’re right, Mat Baxter really crossed the line with this statement. Junior people in ad industry are paid miserably, overworked and often not given the credit for most of the things they have done.

    Nothing is worth sacrificing your health.

  3. Tony Simms
    18 Dec 13
    12:39 pm

  4. Basic client management prevents this from happening. Firstly explain to the client that their deadline can be met but it will require additional resources at additional cost. If the client refuses to fund this, request additional time or politely decline the work. But most importantly any agency that allows its staff to work these hours is not respecting, valuing or managing their staff. It’s not the client’s problem. It is simply bad management and a sick agency culture that allows this to happen. The family should sue the agency!

  5. Marc David Biffi
    19 Dec 13
    4:25 am

  6. #JusticeForMita

  7. Suze
    19 Dec 13
    11:27 am

  8. Does anybody know that Mita was collapsed in Pizza Hut and not because of 30 hrs of working non stop? It’s not the client, the boss, the suits, the PM or even the industry to blame if you fail to listen to your own body, if you don’t allow yourself to get some rest and take care of your own body. #justsaying

  9. Michael
    19 Dec 13
    2:02 pm

  10. “It’s not the client, the boss, the suits, the PM or even the industry to blame if you fail to listen to your own body, if you don’t allow yourself to get some rest and take care of your own body. ”

    I think the point is that because of the pressures being put on people within the industry – primarily by poor leadership, bad account management and unrealistic clients – often folk are not allowed to listen to their own body.

    Y&R needs to come out and explain this. The points made on other articles about how such things contradict HR policy, perhaps even law, need to be addressed.

    And can I say well done to Robin and Mumbrella for covering this sad story and very important issue.

  11. Keepers
    21 Dec 13
    8:01 am

  12. What account was she working on?

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