AKQA
3.0 of 5 160 reviews
www.akqa.com San Francisco, CA 1000 to 5000 Employees

AKQA Reviews

Updated Mar 19, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.0 160 reviews

                             

50% Approve of the CEO

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Ajaz Ahmed

(18 ratings)

52% of employees recommend this company to a friend
20 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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6 people found this helpful  

Horribly mismanaged, with rampant incompetency at all levels of account management and an absent strategic focus.

Creative (Current Employee)
Washington, DC

I have been working at AKQA

ProsCool-looking office, location, a beer fridge, and a pool table.

ConsBut the above serve as distractions from the terrible work environment--a reason not many stay here for longer than a year. The company hires inexperienced account managers who also serve as project managers--many of these hires have never worked for a digital agency before, or have had any significant experience dealing with other agencies and clients. As a result, requirements are not accurately translated to Creative and Technical teams, project scopes constantly swing, budgets are stretched, client expectations and trust are frequently blown, and the guns turn on you.

Nearly all company events are centered around alcohol. The atmosphere can be cliquey and suffocating.

Hiring is completely reactive, instead of being strategic.

Advice to Senior ManagementFix the glaring problems within the Account team. Hire competent project managers and product managers that have had a deep experience working with blue-chip clients in a digital agency environment. Allow the Creative team to take more of a leadership role in driving the ideas forward. Hire strategic planners with a proven record.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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3 people found this helpful  

Smoke and mirror

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
San Francisco, CA

I have been working at AKQA

ProsIf you're into technology and making apps, AKQA is the place to go. But don't expect to learn any branding or big thinking.

ConsThe leadership only cares about maximizing profits at the expense of pursuing creative ideas. They don't know how to build brands. Only cares about tactical executions and making money of producing banners and apps. In essence AKQA is a production company, not an agency.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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3 people found this helpful  

AKQA isn't all that great from the inside.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
San Francisco, CA

I have been working at AKQA

ProsIf your young and a creative its fine working for AKQA for a couple of years. Junior level staff can learn at AKQA. You'll have to move to another company if you want to advance.

ConsAnyone else who doesn't get hired as manager or gets hired onto a very exciting client project won't have much to appreciate about the company while your working there.

Advice to Senior ManagementThere is nothing anyone can tell the management team that will make them change their behavior. They are pretty set in their ways.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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3 people found this helpful  

A good place to start a career but not for the most creative talent

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
San Francisco, CA

I have been working at AKQA

Prosthe nature of the work is interesting and varied
The clients are great
The people are pleasant

ConsSome key players do not seem to truly have experience with nor an understanding of interactive resulting in over promising and creating unnecessary bewilderment, confusion, stress and churn for everyone.

Expect to work weekends, late nights frequently

Advice to Senior ManagementSeriously consider a culling of the Account Team or restructuring then to serve as Business Development and hire Project Managers that are skilled to take over some of the Account duties.
FInding new talent is expensive - keep and cultivate the talent you have

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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3 people found this helpful  

Very unpleasant people to work for

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at AKQA

ProsNice looking office, good location

ConsRacist, bigoted, egotistical staff, watch you back

Advice to Senior ManagementResign

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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1 person found this helpful  

Great for CV, but same BS as everywhere else, bad management

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at AKQA

ProsGreat Clients
Interesting Projects
Some talented people

ConsBad Senior Management
Lot of hard work (not a meritocracy as they preach)
Really full of themselves
Not many opportunities for promotion or salary improvement
No breakfast?? And the coffee machine is whack.
No snacks.
Only Sports game on the company Xbox? So lame...

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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3 people found this helpful  

Think Again

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at AKQA

Pros+fun people
+dogs
+location
+resume booster
+cheap snacks
+opportunities to work with traditional ad production

Cons-poor mgmt
-below market salaries
-long hours
-politics

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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3 people found this helpful  

it takes more than beer to keep top talent

Art Director (Former Employee)

I worked at AKQA

Proswell-known in the industry, fun place to work day to day,

Consno work / life balance, Project Managers and Account People overstep their boundaries by over promising to clients and trying to dictate creative

Advice to Senior Managementtake better care of the talent and make sure administrative and support positions understand what their jobs are

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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5 people found this helpful  

Never worked so hard and been treated so badly

Senior Software Engineer (Former Employee)
London, England (UK)

I worked at AKQA

ProsIt does some cool advertising stuff if you're into that kind of thing, and some of the other people are really talented.

ConsPretty much the longest run of unbelievably long hours I've ever worked - about 9 months straight of 80 hour weeks. Project management without a clue. Far too many people just buying into the idea of being cool and hip and making pretty things, and no appreciation of the people who are actually doing that.

Advice to Senior ManagementStop working people so hard, listen to the people who know how to do the work rather than the people who are just telling you what you want to hear and playing politics.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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2 people found this helpful  

Great at pitching terrible at delivering...

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
London, England (UK)

I have been working at AKQA

ProsGreat client list, some fantastic work and awards. Very creative indeed and most of the work has an edge of cool to it. Some really nice, driven people. Great fun if after work drinking with your work mates is your thing.

ConsHorrendous working hours, bad account management and absolutely no long term project management. Life is just one great big pitch - when it comes to actually delivering it is a very difficult environment to work in, especially if you are not one of the Creatives.

Playing catch-up seems to be the norm at AKQA - they either don't accurately scope how long things take to do or they spend so much time wasting time that everyone ends up working til midnight to kick something through the door.

I don't think AKQA are great at anything that outside of mega creative. Technical reasoning seems to take a back seat and nobody thinks too hard about users either.

All in all, not a great place to work.

Advice to Senior ManagementStop working your great people to death. Allow enough time to develop properly. Practise all those fantastic things you preach in your pitches.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at AKQA reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for AKQA CEO Ajaz Ahmed. All 20 reviews posted anonymously by AKQA employees.