AKQA Reviews

Updated July 4, 2015
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3.6
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
AKQA CEO Ajaz Ahmed
Ajaz Ahmed
99 Ratings

Pros
  • There are a few great people in the NY office (in 17 reviews)

  • Great clients with awesome budgets (in 14 reviews)

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

  • As a result, developers work long hours under insane pressure and no personal life (in 19 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

283 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (5)

    Overall positive experience

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

    I have been working at AKQA (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Legitimately care about employees. Lots of people into health and fitness so classes and encouragements. Co-workers are good people. Senior management is approachable and supportive and it is a big plus to have a ton of autonomy.

    Cons

    Some administrative bottlenecks to get things (like travel) done. Projects can often change direction at the last minute.

    Advice to Management

    Career coaching, mentors and opportunities for growth either at the New York office or overseas are more meaningful than office parties, etc. Recognise and grow those who perform.


  2. Helpful (25)

    I agree they're faking reviews

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

    I have been working at AKQA (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - met a handful of people I will be friends with for a very long time
    - big name brands
    - it is a good name on the resume (in the ad world anyway)

    Cons

    The reviewer that said they're faking reviews - I really think they are. Reviews skyrocketed in the past few months all with similar words like "inspirational" and "innovative." Based on the general dissatisfaction of employees I see day to day, I really doubt this many people are rating the agency 5 stars honestly.

    - long hours with no appreciation from upper management
    - who's doing the scoping/writing the SOWs? Fire immediately and get someone who can scope properly so people aren't working 70 hour weeks CONSISTENTLY
    - egos. So many egos. Maybe it's the plight of working with "creative" "innovative" people, but can we get past the high school mentality and just be decent people to one another?
    - some people are merely "yes" men and never push back on clients with unrealistic expectations. Then turn around and throw other team members under the bus when things inevitably fail

    Don't come here. Go elsewhere with more sanity, less circle-jerking, and where you're paid market value. AKQA is not worth it.

    Advice to Management

    Clean house! Get rid of people who add no value, instead of promoting them!


  3. Helpful (3)

    can

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Strives to be best. People are great. Work is fun. Get to interact with large clients

    Cons

    Can be stressful sometimes when dealing with deadlines

    Advice to Management

    Training and advancement needs more focus


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (5)

    Great place to work

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

    I worked at AKQA

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Challenging projects, support and independence to come up with creative solutions, very friendly working environment. Don't expect someone to hold your hand all the time. This is an amazing place for focused and pro-active people, where they hire smart people, and give them the right support and set up to succeed.

    Cons

    Not a Mon-Fri, 9-5 type of place (these days, none of them are!)


  6. Helpful (2)

    Good people, questionable model

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

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

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    I made some amazing and lasting friendships here. You will learn a lot in a short period of time. Opportunities exist to try new roles and skills.

    Cons

    Small and medium sized agencies around the world are mostly owned by a few conglomerates with European roots. These holding companies are like most European 20th century minded companies: mediocre pay, lots of management, not innovative. Being acquired by WPP seems to have gained AKQA very little and instead imposes more bureaucracy and less reward.

    Advice to Management

    Senior leadership in London: what is AKQA? Do you care about turnover? Are you building something or coasting? Where is the passion? How will you motivate a new wave of creativity?


  7. Shout out to Brad Johnson

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The biggest pro is working with Brad Johnson. He's one of those brilliant, kind bosses that you can go up to and ask a stupid question, and he will take the time out to explain the answer, while not making you feel inadequate. I learned more from him during my 3 years working at AKQA, than I did with any formal training. He should be recognized as one of the best, with both design and code.

    Cons

    It was like a huge puppy mill, with children being brought in, and a silo with the respect that you couldn't have a cross discipline.

    Advice to Management

    take advantage of the experience that comes with an employee over 20.


  8. Helpful (5)

    Account Manager

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

    I have been working at AKQA full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Nice business cards. Work life balance is not bad. Plenty of work coming through the doors.

    Cons

    Here's how my star system has worked: I give one star for the fact that they pay my salary. I give another star for the fact that the work is always there. I give a third star because my co-workers are good people and I like the culture. To get the full five stars I would need more mentoring from senior management and the full five stars would require more career counselling and guidance.

    Advice to Management

    Make more investment into coaching and career counselling for the junior team members.


  9. Helpful (4)

    So far so good

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

    I have been working at AKQA full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Emphasis on creative, innovative work. Good people. Can learn a lot from those around you. Opportunity for advancement is excellent. Great client list.

    Cons

    Hours are long / unpredictable. Not many cons, same as other agencies.


  10. Helpful (5)

    Stimulating and exciting

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

    I have been working at AKQA full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Young spirited team that is eager to build something great. Team is smart, driven and sharp. Environment encourages employees to focus on quality and cutting edge ideas. Variety of amazing brands with lots of exciting projects to work on. Plenty of freedom. Benefits are quite good.

    Cons

    Similar to other comments in the need to be able to navigate and create your own career path. Employees need to be comfortable with ambiguity.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the youthful and pioneering spirit.


  11. Helpful (9)

    Smoke and Mirrors

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Designer in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Associate Designer in Portland, OR

    I worked at AKQA full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great people to work with

    Cons

    Difficulty recognizing valuable assets within the work force and rewarding them. Which kills morality as well as motivation.

    Account and project management constantly and readily disregard timelines and overwork creatives. They never say no.

    Hardly ever brought in exciting motivating creative work. At times would even let other agencies or clients collect credit for portions of work, in order to "keep up relationships"

    Advice to Management

    Care about your employees more than the fleeting requests of clients.



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