Omnicom has responded to the closing of its London office for OMD after a coronavirus (Covid-19) scare, with its chief executive Jon Wren having issued a staff warning while postponing travel to certain regions and quarantining staff who return from these spaces.
After OMD UK and Dentsu HQ issued lockdowns of their HQs earlier this week as precautionary measures, Wren issued guidance for his 80,000 members of staff in an effort to avoid contagion.
Wren said: "Our first priority – now and always – is the health and safety of our people. As the number of reported coronavirus cases continues to grow, especially outside of China, we are updating our guidance.
"Omnicom and our agencies will continue to follow the advice of the appropriate national regulatory authorities, as well as the World Health Organization."
Travel to or from China, Japan, Hong Kong, Iran, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, or Northern Italy has been postponed, until further notice. Furthermore, Employees, who are returning from personal or business trips from China, Japan, Hong Kong, Iran, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, or Northern Italy have been asked to work from home for 14 calendar days. "Even if they don’t show signs of illness".
It also applies to any employee who has had a member of their household return from a trip to any of the countries listed above.
Wren concluded: "We will monitor the situation as it evolves and continue to update our guidance accordingly. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the leadership of your agency."
The virus has already prompted ad agency networks including WPP and InterPublic Group to restrict staff travel to China, where the outbreak began.