Ogilvy Philippines Strategist Dies After Allegedly Working Overtime While Suffering from Pneumonia

By Patrick Coffee 

Today a spokesperson for Ogilvy & Mather confirmed that an account strategist in the Philippines died late last week due to complications from pneumonia.

Adweek received the following statement attributed to Ogilvy Philippines CEO Elly Puyat:

“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.”

Mark Dehesa had been working as a brand strategist in the PR division of the agency’s Manila office for less than a year after holding accounts roles at area JWT, Publicis and BBDO operations.

According to a source identified as a former colleague of Dehesa’s, he worked until 4 AM on Thursday night/Friday morning preparing for an early meeting. This party tells us that he then stayed at the office until 9 that night before asking to be driven to the hospital while visibly shaking. He died two days later.

The agency declined to elaborate on the circumstances that preceded Dehesa’s death.

The very day he passed, this post from Ogilvy copywriter Jeff Stelton got a lot of attention from agency employees in the area.

Stelton, who had worked with Dehesa in some capacity, later added the edit to clarify that he was not attributing the tragedy to overwork.

Many others also said their goodbyes on social media.

This news comes less than two months after Dentsu global CEO Tadashi Ishii resigned in the face of potential charges related to the 2015 suicide of an account manager who jumped to her death from the company dormitory. She had previously posted about abusive bosses on social media and claimed to have worked more than 100 hours of overtime in a single month.

Other recent deaths of young agency employees have been attributed to overwork—including those of Li Yuan of Ogilvy Beijing and Y&R Indonesia copywriter Mita Diran, who fell into a coma soon after sending this tweet.

Both passed in 2013.