Indonesian copywriter dies after working three days straight.

After three days of working nonstop, Y&R Indonesia copywriter Mita Diran was no longer going strong.
According to Venus Buzz, Diran passed away due to a lethal combination of being overworked and excessive consumption of Kratingdaeng – the Thai version of Red Bull.

Y&R Indonesia post this letter via their Facebook page as well as on Twitter.

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

Sad day for advertising.

about the author

kidsleepy CD copywriter with 18 years experience who has worked in many cities including New York, Atlanta, Montreal and currently Los Angeles. I snark because I care.

Comments (18)

  • Tha Arista's picture
    Tha Arista (not verified)

    Rest in Peace, Mita Diran.

    Dec 16, 2013
  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    No comment from Y&R as to why they had to have Mita work for 3 days straight?

    Dec 16, 2013
  • Bull's picture
    Bull (not verified)

    May God have mercy on her... A company will push you to work and work and work.. and when such a tragedy happens, they can still take the day off to mourn you.. whatever the reason maybe, pressure to a point of stress isn't going to make anyone get anything done..
    There are a lot of lessons to be learned here from both the company and the employee... that includes sleep deprivation, continuous consumption of unhealthy 'energy' drinks.. and more..

    Dec 16, 2013
  • JohnAlternate's picture
    JohnAlternate (not verified)

    Condolences will not suffice. Serious action must be taken. That company must undergo an immediate audit and must implement changes that absolutely ensure that such a situation never repeats itself. The people must not refrain from expressing their anger in a constructive manner. Do what it takes to pressure your parliamentary representatives to pass and enforce laws that protect workers from unscrupulous competitive tactics.

    Dec 16, 2013
  • Ex-Ad Worker's picture
    Ex-Ad Worker (not verified)

    'That company' should be audited?

    Why don't you try auditing the ENTIRE advertising industry worldwide? They make millions while pushing the pawns to work like ants. And full of superficial sympathy when something goes wrong.

    It is a decadent, regressive and unhumanistic industry that everyone thinks is glamourous.

    Dec 16, 2013
  • Ex Copywriter's picture
    Ex Copywriter (not verified)

    May she rest in peace. And may the industry (and its clients because they are partly to blame) be wise enough to implement changes in their targets and deadlines. Some things aren't worth it. Sadly, lots of people are still drinking the Kool Aid.

    Dec 16, 2013
  • AntDude's picture
    AntDude (not verified)

    72 hours straight? I can't even do a day!

    Dec 16, 2013
  • Dabitch's picture

    I can't speak for what happened at Y&R Indonesia, because I wasn't there. But, I've worked in advertising for many years now and there are a few things in common all around the advertising world.

    1) A machismo culture regarding working long hours. The "best" creatives can "handle it", and there's stories at every agency about people napping after 42 hour shifts, under their desks. "That pitch was wild, man".

    2) One turns in work at 8AM to be checked by superiors. They respond at 6PM with "try a few more ideas" and then you're working overtime once again, through no fault of your own.

    3) Clients ignore their own deadlines of when they're supposed to respond. Meanwhile a creative team wait all weekend at the office.

    There's a dysfunctional relationship to time in advertising agencies. We might jot down hours on clients, but it's not really what we're charging for, since we'll never charge a client overtime for those waiting weekends. Agencies don't respect time, can't schedule properly. Once in a while you should snap: your poor planning does not constitute my emergency. There is absolutely no reason to be working 30 hours straight.

    Dec 16, 2013
  • awfultohear's picture
    awfultohear (not verified)

    These are all completely accurate.

    Dec 18, 2013
  • kidsleepy's picture

    Raise your hand if you've ever encountered these scenarios:

    A creative director misses a deadline because they decided to get a haircut /go shopping/see a movie instead of looking at work causing you to miss out on your weekend.

    An agency spends fifty thousand dollars on a holiday party but can't give you a holiday bonus or raise.

    During your interview, an agency HR person proudly points to their "quiet area," which includes cots and futons where people can sleep.

    You send your work off for feedback with a 100 word email attached. An ECD gets back to you 12 hours later with a "great."

    Poor planning is part of it. Machismo is part of it. But on another level it's this special and complete lack of respect for the employee that only comes from the corporate world. I've never worked in Asia but I've worked in Europe, South America and North America. It's the same everywhere you go. The lack of respect is amazing. But what did you expect when a lot of creative heads are sociopaths?

    Dec 16, 2013
  • Francesco Lamberti EX COPY's picture
    Francesco Lambe... (not verified)

    Working for 3 days non stop is against any work legislation I know.
    Been there, done that. My bosses would say different. But still.
    I got out of adv cause of this. And people said I was good.

    And think about it? What for?

    Glory? for a minimum wage?
    Forget about it.

    Work is supposed to help you living and enjoing your life to get better and lighter ideas.
    If it takes your life away is an oximoron: Slavery under wage.

    Seriously Y&R, and all of other big firms,
    get a damn life, don't steal young creative minds ones.

    With anger and a shout for battle.
    Francesco Lamberti
    Italian burnt Ex copywriter.

    Dec 16, 2013
  • X-Advertising Guy's picture
    X-Advertising Guy (not verified)

    the world fairly created…
    24 hours a day

    8 hours to work
    8 hours to do what u love (activities/rest)
    8 hours of sleep

    Dec 16, 2013
  • Hass's picture
    Hass (not verified)

    I've been asked to work tons. More than I'm comfortable with.

    As a junior creative, it's hard to say no. But then one weekend, I pushed back. And guess what, I didn't get fired. One night last week I had to choose between canceling a longstanding doctor's appointment or rewrite some headlines. I chose the appointment. Still not fired. In fact, my CD insisted I keep my appt.

    There's something to the art of saying no. It doesn't always work, but you gotta stand up for yourself SOME time!

    Dec 16, 2013
  • kidsleepy's picture

    I know a producer who has done the same thing so they can spend time with their kids. Can you believe that? It's tragic.

    Dec 17, 2013
  • eddie ibrahim's picture
    eddie ibrahim (not verified)

    that company should be sued and taking full responsibilities on what happened! mourn and close the office for 1 day will not change anything.

    Dec 17, 2013
  • Andrei Romila's picture
    Andrei Romila (not verified)

    She died doing the thing she liked. Who doesn't want that?

    Dec 17, 2013
  • awfultohear's picture
    awfultohear (not verified)

    This company and many advertising agencies are allowed to promote work harder work better ethic stigma. This is unreal. Had there been better form in guidelines, clients and employee awareness, this should not have been the case. We all work harder and longer, but the amount of hours should have been realized and recognized amongst all involved. Instead of saying work more, people should be thanked, realized and recognized for the amount of work. There should have been someone to say go home... This is advertising.... It will be here tomorrow... Instead of working this woman to death by her virtue of good moral, work ethic and the ability to have a red bull when you can't take anymore.

    Dec 18, 2013
  • Donethatbefore 's picture
    Donethatbefore (not verified)

    It happened to me couple of years back. 3 days of continuous work. I did it not because there is someone forcing me to stay up and work that long. I did it because of the people counting on me. Every time I give my word, I'm putting my honor on the line. I believe this young girl just knows how to value her word and knows integrity are worth something. RIP Mita

    Dec 18, 2013