AKQA

www.akqa.com

AKQA Reviews

Updated January 26, 2015
Updated January 26, 2015
209 Reviews
2.9
209 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Ajaz Ahmed
46 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You'll get to work on some massive clients and work with some great people (in 17 reviews)

  • Lots of great clients, good budget and wonderful people to work with (in 14 reviews)


Cons
  • I know some other departments have a much less favorable work life balance (in 23 reviews)

  • Low pay, long hours, 2 weeks of vacation for the first 2 years (in 19 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    High turnover, average pay, great experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Creative Developer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Creative Developer in San Francisco, CA

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

    Pros

    I got to work with lots of very talented people and got a lot of good experiece

    Cons

    such a large ad agency, you were put into a bucket and it was impossible to escape it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    cross over between talents

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    High standards will keep you on your toes

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I have been working at AKQA full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Amazing clients and co-workers. My supervisor is great and I always feel appreciated. The work is challenging and standards are high, so I'm constantly learning.

    Cons

    Work-life balance can be tough. The high standards and expectations can be stressful and lead to long hours.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communication! Positive reinforcement for the hard-working masses could be a morale-booster.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    A Revolving Door. A Great Place To Learn Quickly Under Pressure.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Campaign Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Campaign Manager in San Francisco, CA

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

    Pros

    First and foremost, my fondest memories at AKQA were of the people I worked with. I worked in the MSA (Media, Search and Analytics) department for 1.5 years and have developed my expertise by working with some highly skilled and hard-working folks.

    MSA tends to operate as its own shop, independent of the rest of AKQA - as such, my review will be specific to it. There are plenty of perks in the office - free coffee, free fruit, social events, yoga, massage, acupuncture...huge office space with plenty of open tables for meetings or private work. For people new to the industry, it is a fantastic opportunity to get exposure to respected brands.

    People in this department work hard. I can't speak to the rest of AKQA, but work hours typically run from 9-6, 8-6, 8-7, 7-7, etc. etc...then again, you are free to leave at 5 if you wish to do so. Generally speaking, people come to work in good taste.

    The office caters to young professionals, I would say the vast majority of the department consists of people in their twenties. After a couple of years at this agency, opportunities for growth at successful and high-paying companies "in-house" will be abundant.

    Cons

    Although I listed this as a Pro, this might also be considered a Con: the department is young. This is due to the high turnover rate and the relatively pigeonholed nature of the work - you'll get exposure to great brands, but any specific individuals' power over a project tends to be very narrow in most cases.

    The pay is low, and the work is relatively stressful. It becomes frustrating to work hard on delivering a brands' success and get little to no recognition. This is the cost of doing business - strong performance from the team gets credited to the marketing managers, then disseminated (maybe) to the agency, then to the directors, then to the individuals who work to make it happen. For the most part, this latter faction gets utterly ignored - it is the responsibility of an effective manager to vocalize the hard work of the teams consistently.

    To the rest of AKQA, the MSA department is the necessary but severely uncool counterpart. To MSA, AKQA is a hotbed of emotional politics with no unified vision.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Show greater appreciation for your employees. Salary is fair for the lack of experience in talent, but for the love of God, provide greater incentives in the form of bonuses to motivate the teams - many of these kids cannot live in SF with these salaries.

    Provide a clear mission statement. People will rally behind a cause despite harsh circumstances if they believe the mission to be meaningful.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Doesn't care about people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Copywriter in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Copywriter in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at AKQA

    Pros

    Some brands are supposedly good to work on, some people are nice I guess.
    The company name on your resume and that's it.

    Cons

    So many don't know where to start
    - Titles don't fit your real position in this business
    - Salaries are extremely low
    - Company ask you to give up your personal life but doesn't give you anything in return
    - Everything is extremely political : If you've worked 5 years for AKQA but are worthless at your job you will still be way more rewarded than someone extremely talented but new.
    You need to lick your CD's boots if you want a promotion
    -Projects are never produced
    -Worst thing by far for a creative : you start a project, do all the conceptual thinking and see your project produced by others creative that take credit for your work.
    - Creative will build presentation and decks 90% of the time instead of doing real work

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start by treating your employee properly and go back to real ideas not some worthless design. Reward real talents not people that just have connections

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good for Short, Tough for Long

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    Great place to lean and grow on high-visibility accounts. Fantastic peers. Good opportunity for internal growth within certain departments.

    Cons

    Low pay, long working hours, finance is not afraid to try shady stuff on your way out. Be very wary.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Dysfunctional organization but a good resume builder

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Project Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Project Manager in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at AKQA

    Pros

    Looks good on resume
    Great brands

    Cons

    Arrogant and out-of-touch management
    Hostile work environment
    Zero work life balance (and no respect or understanding for working parents)
    Only 2 wks vacation

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Value your people

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Same old same old

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Director in New York, NY

    I worked at AKQA full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    People are generally pleasant with day-to-day interaction.

    Cons

    The creative staff still acts as if they're work supersedes all other departments while generally only convoluting the overall process and layering projects with ego and passive-agressive sentiment.

    A lot of smoke and mirrors.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Creative environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Executive in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Account Executive in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    Opportunity to learn, great creative environment

    Cons

    Not a lot of room for promotion

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Terrible leadership = do not work there

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Project Manager in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at AKQA full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Free fruit. Office is nice. Some cool people.

    Cons

    Leadership is not very good at the top and within each office. They don't value people. They don't know how to manage their clients.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Wake up and realize the company is on the demise.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Good for short term, not so good for long one.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - SQA Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - SQA Engineer in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at AKQA as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Nice and smart people, specially developers.
    Big office. Fancy coffee machines.

    Cons

    Some projects are very tedious to work on. Not having excitement from the job is done.
    Clients constantly adding new stuff and expecting you to do your work keeping the same deadlines.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Value smart people that are coming to your company and try to keep them.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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