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An Ogilvy Philippines Employee Died After Working Overtime While Suffering From Pneumonia

He spent less than a year as a brand strategist in the PR division of Ogilvy & Mather Philippines.

Cover image via Mark David Dehasa

Mark David Dehesa, a brand strategist with advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather Philippines, died last weekend after purportedly working overtime while suffering from pneumonia

Mark David Dehesa.

Image via Mark David Dehasa

Dehesa had been working as a brand strategist in the PR division of the agency's Manila office for less than a year. According to his LindkedIn account, he held different account management roles in agencies such as JWT, Publicis, and BBDO.

Ogilvy Philippines confirmed that Dehesa passed away due to complications from pneumonia. The company, however, declined to elaborate on the events that preceded his death.

Image via Archiscene

“It is with great sadness that we confirm the sudden passing of our colleague Mark Dehesa from complications leading to Pneumonia on Sunday, 19 February 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," Oglivy Philippines CEO Elly Puyat said.

According to Adweek, an unnamed former colleague said Dehesa worked long hours on Friday before asking to be taken to the hospital, where he later died

Jeff Stelton, a copywriter who had worked with Dehesa before, also wrote in a Facebook post about the difficulties and long hours of working in an ad agency.

"Clients always ask for something good. And more often than not, they ask for it fast. And one industry that deals with this on a daily basis is the advertising industry.

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.

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."

Other recent deaths of young agency employees have been attributed to overwork, including this Indonesian copywriter who fell into a coma back in 2013 after sending this tweet


In the same year, Li Yuan, who worked at Ogilvy Beijing, died of cardiac arrest after overworking the month prior to his death.

This case involving Ogilvy is far from unique. An account manager for Dentsu, Matsuri Takahashi, jumped to her death in 2015 from overworking:

Tadashi Ishii, CEO of Dentsu, promptly resigned after the unfortunate incident was brought into the public eye:

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