AKQA Reviews

Updated November 6, 2014
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4 Reviews
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AKQA CEO Ajaz Ahmed
Ajaz Ahmed
72 Ratings

4 Employee Reviews

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  1. 9 people found this helpful

    The end of an empire

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)

    I worked at AKQA full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Lovely people but even the most human are leaving.

    Cons

    This once great agency has fallen on hard times. No doubt the money will keep rolling in and they can definitely trade off their reputation for a few years to come.

    A mere five years ago no one was doing what AKQA was doing. They had the clients, the talent and technical infrastructure to get some incredible world firsts off the ground.

    Now smaller agencies and start ups can do what AKQA does for a fraction of the cost and at twice the speed. Even the quality that was AKQA’s trademark has fallen by the wayside. A bloated bureaucracy has arisen despite the cries of lean thinking and start up mindsets.

    Today it resembles a club that was once frequented by artistic greats, but is now filled with the industry’s equivalent of estate agents and financial advisors. Everyone wants a bit of the famous fire but only embers remain.

    If you can stomach it, by all means, go for a year. Get the initials on your CV but be in no doubt – this beast is choking out its death rattle.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pull a Brutus.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 9 people found this helpful

    Dismal. So glad I left!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)

    I worked at AKQA full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Thinking about it, there were few pros to working here. Some colleagues are fine but all the good people eventually leave.
    London location is good. That's about it!

    Cons

    I am out of there nearly two years and I am so happy I made the decision to go. I had no alternative lined up but being unemployed for a little while was so much better than staying. AKQA is simply the worst place I have ever worked. Bullying is casual, backstabbing is the lifeblood of this place. The senior mgmt are terrified/cronies of the CEO which manifests in a culture of bullying and pettiness for those who report to them. It is awful.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I bet you don't read Glassdoor. Perhaps you do but you don't care anyway.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 8 people found this helpful

    Never worked so hard and been treated so badly

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in London, England (UK)

    I worked at AKQA

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Pretty 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 ManagementAdvice

    Stop 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful

    Great at pitching terrible at delivering...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at AKQA

    Pros

    Great 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.

    Cons

    Horrendous 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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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