AKQA Reviews

Updated July 26, 2015
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291 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (12)

    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.


  2. Helpful (28)

    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 (11)

    Stable and dymanic

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

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

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

    Pros

    Dedication, opportunities to advance, positive work environment, location, usually good opportunities because of the company's size

    Cons

    On the other side it can be difficult to switch to different teams especially if you are good at your current job, workload can be challenging, compensation could be better

    Advice to Management

    Stay engaged with employees to provide direction of where the company is heading and what the priorities are. A more thoughtful approach to training is required


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  5. Helpful (10)

    AKQA review

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

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

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

    Pros

    Opportunities to work on emerging technologies, nice learning, fast paced, good client list

    Cons

    Pay could be better and needs a more organised approach towards training and development

    Advice to Management

    Provide more clarity on advancement opportunities


  6. Helpful (11)

    Inspiring

    • 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

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

    Pros

    Good culture. Focus is more about how much you think rather than how much you know. One of the most successful agencies. Great people. Work is the main focus. Client list is first class brands. Exciting place to work.

    Cons

    Relatively young company compared to all the other big agencies so growing pains to get through. Good people so overall no real complaints.


  7. Helpful (10)

    Good place if you are in the 'right' team

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

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

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

    Pros

    Open to new ideas, overall a casual work environment. There is a sense of cohesion among the different offices. Recently started doing a lot of fun things but I already got another offer.

    Cons

    It's not silicon valley. Pay is industry average. Have to be willing to roll with it and realize that nothing will be perfect.

    Advice to Management

    More communication is key.


  8. Helpful (4)

    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?


  9. Helpful (3)

    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.


  10. Helpful (6)

    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.


  11. Helpful (4)

    The Dynasty is Over

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

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

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

    Pros

    There are some really great people. But losing them quickly.

    Cons

    Sadly the good people are leaving. The ones who haven't are just biding time until they find something better and they will. AKQA suffers from a lot of its own self inflicted flaws. What was once a great creative powerhouse is now a cumbersome machine. The WPP hooks have officially robbed AKQA of what made it an amazing, inspiring place to create ideas and have fun. There is no fun. Only work. It's the antithesis of what AKQA says its in conflict with, mediocrity. Bloated teams and meetings, no accountability from senior management. The once vibrant life that drove AKQA, is now d driven by cost cutting, unfair pay and bonuses to a select few, poorly managed projects and antiquated processes that are more from the Stone Age than an ideas and innovations company as they have bestowed upon themselves. There are people that can't perform their basic functions of their job, and a lot of them are in senior leadership. When projects do get off to a good start - which rarely happens, when they do, someone usually manages to sell out the entire team on crazy timelines and ridiculous client demands. There is no process, there is only chaos. They spend the least amount of time on the most important thing, the work. No one cares, it's all about money. There is no acknowledgement of company challenges, only a more concerted effort to sweep it under the rug. More email banter from global about how great AKQA is. More cheerleader visits from Ajaz telling how AKQA is the best it's ever been and how employees should work harder and longer to experience the satisfaction of success. Unfortunately that satisfaction will never come for most. There is a class system at AKQA. Only the privileged few will get to work on prestigious clients and projects, doesn't matter if they are profitable, it's all for show. Those projects will be featured on the site, submitted to Cannes, given budgets for case studies, mentioned in media and on company emails. Work that the proletariat class can only read about. I wish I could say more positive things, but this is the reality currently. AKQA is well on its way to the middle.

    Advice to Management

    Be willing to make things right with the people that work hard for you everyday. Is this what you envisioned AKQA to be?



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