Overwork blamed on death of Y&R Indonesia copywriter Mita Diran

Mita Diram

Mita Diran

A young copywriter working for advertising agency Y&R in Jakarta has died as a result of overwork, according to reports.

Mita Diran, who joined Y&R just over a year and a half ago, passed away after suffering heart failure as a result of a combination of long hours and drinking too much Kratingdaeng, a strong energy drink, a colleague of hers has said.

Her father, Yani Sharizal, who works as an executive creative director at local agency Fortune, has said that his daughter had slipped into a coma after working continuously for three days, and that she had been working over the limit.

The young copywriter’s last tweet read:  “30 hours of working and still going strooong.”

Path messages about Miram's deathIn a text message that confirmed Diran’s death, her colleague footnoted the SMS with the words “please people, know you own body’s limitations, don’t push yourself too hard.”

Diran began her career in advertising in 2009 as a junior copywriter for Malaysian agency Cipta Reka Nara. In a short career, she worked at Freeform and DNA Three Sixty before moving to Jakarta in May 2012.

Y&R has posted the following condolence note on its Facebook page:

Dear Friends and Colleagues in the Advertising & Marketing community,

It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness that we have to inform you we have lost our friend, sister, and work colleague, Mita Diran, earlier this evening. Mita was a talented copywriter with a gentle smile who will always live on in our hearts.

We have been to Mita’s family residence tonight and expressed our sincere condolences on behalf of Y&R Group Indonesia. It is a great loss and we wish Mita’s family the faith and strength in each other in going through this extremely difficult time.

Tomorrow, December 16, we will close the office for the day to pay our last respects to Mita at her funeral at Jeruk Purut cemetery at 10 AM. Let us all take a day of silence tomorrow and give Mita’s family the support and prayers that they need, from the bottom of our hearts.

Sincerely, Y&R Group Indonesia

Diran’s passing comes just over six months after a 24 year old Chinese PR executive, Li Yuan, died from a heart attack, suspect to be stress related, after working long hours continually for a month.

The tragedy has triggered a strong reaction from individuals within the advertising industry, but the big corporates, including WPP’s Y&R, have so far kept quiet on the issue.

An Indonesian agency boss has suggested that Diran’s death reflects the failure of the account management function in advertising, while a top creative director has said that the Asia’s big agency groups should agree on a common policy for work-life balance to ensure that the tragedy does not reoccur.

However, a creative has said that it is the individual’s responsibility to stand up to employers that encourage unreasonable working hours.