AbelsonTaylor
2.6 of 5 41 reviews
abelsontaylor.com Chicago, IL 150 to 499 Employees

AbelsonTaylor Reviews

Updated Jun 26, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.6 41 reviews

                             

73% Approve of the CEO

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Dale Taylor

(26 ratings)

34% of employees recommend this company to a friend
41 Employee Reviews
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Backstabbing, unprofessional, ego maniacal, management.

    Talented Employee (Former Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsYou make a lot of friends and connections that will be helpful when you leave.

    ConsDisorganized, mismanaged, sweat shop atmosphere that the owner claimed it would never become. Be careful not to be rewarded for hard work and loyal service - they'll just use it as a reason to get rid of you and find lesser skilled people to work for half as much. Thanks Dale!

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop dumping talented, loyal people to save a buck. Your work will suffer as much as your reputation.

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

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    Good place to start out, but definitely not to grow.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsMade some great friends and had some good laughs. The snacks were always a perk, as well as Friday lunches.

    ConsThe work-life balance is absolutely terrible. There is also the feeling of 'what is the point to this job?' quite often. Unless someone has an incredible love for moody clients and endless financial spreadsheets, this is not the best place for you.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStart creating a better culture in order to lessen the very high turn over rate.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Creative, Good Culture, Some Digital Growing Pains

    Account Supervisor (Current Employee)

    ProsAbelsonTaylor has great health benefits, and the environment is very laid-back, creative and engaging. I personally have great work/life balance, and I do what I can to ensure my team has that as well. I enjoy going to work (on most days) and the work I do is challenging and rewarding.

    ConsThere have been some growing pains as we better transition towards serving more digital projects and clients. While there have been lay-offs, much of that was staff that was struggling to adapt to digital projects and could not move beyond print.

    There are some flaws in the traffic/routing process for digital work. It still blows my mind that we print and route websites for feedback, when we could all look at the testing link and provide feedback in a much more efficient manner.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLook at updating process, especially on the digital side, to reduce inefficiencies.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Very solid company, being independent truly allows more freedom

    Account Director (Current Employee)

    ProsGood people, although it's now one of the largest agencies in Chi. it still feels very friendly, free of much of the typical big agency politics, fairly transparent, great work/life balance that they actually deliver on, independent so not worried about turf battles, holding cos. dictating, etc., consistent growth every year = bonuses

    Cons- It's still a medical agency so consumer will always be an after thought. Can be frustrating since many still don't get it but don't like to acknowledge this
    - Playing catch-up in digital space
    - Senior people have been here forever. Many haven't ever worked at another agency so don't have any perspective on what innovative agencies do & how they operate.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStay open to change and do it; it will be more and more critical as the business landscape evolves

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    A very good experience at first, followed by lack of loyalty and poorly managed.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsGood people, though very fearful of losing their jobs. Lots of lay offs.

    ConsThe company has gone through many changes in recent years and is very poorly run.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGo back to the old ways where employees were appreciated and respected instead of getting rid of very talented employees for cheaper less skilled workers.

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

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    2 people found this helpful  

    On the surface, great place; after awhile, not so wonderful

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsSurface perks, like free unlimited snacks and soft drinks, and a catered Friday lunch option for cheap. Solid reputation among agencies in the category. Casual dress, convenient access to city transportation.

    ConsThe biggest drawback, which I learned very early in my employment here, is that management of my own department -- and I have heard this from people in others -- is in a complete disconnect from its people. My own manager hasn't a clue what we actually do. She poses as an accessible manger but won't know what you're talking about if you bring an issue to her table.
    There is a tense atmosphere here that I couldn't at first put my finger on. It is not due to the "fast pace" of the place -- that's a given in any agency. As I go along I see that the wrong people are promoted and put into positions they aren't ready or qualified for, and the mistakes and communication disconnects simply multiply. Creativity is quashed or unrewarded, and I hear people in Creative saying their ideas are molested and developed by others who haven't the same vision. Time-off system is lousy because ANY time away from the office during the work week, including illness, doctor appointments, children's school events one must attend, and so on, is taken from one's vacation days.
    Another very sad situation involves the way the people in Traffic are treated. As another reviewer said, "overqualified college grads" are hired for the positions. Many are immediately demoralized by the huge time and energy demands made on them, for entry-level pay. There's little reward for doing a terrific job of juggling multiple accounts, running back and forth and up and down stairwells (agency is on four floors, so far), working long and unpredictable "on-call" hours, and last and worst, being not only little rewarded but often as not denigrated for what they haven't been taught (no mentoring, no training) or for dropping a stitch, which upper-level people do all the time with impunity. There is a great sense of unfairness and frustration in the air in general, and it rubs off. Upper management is tucked away somewhere "upstairs," and it seems that suggestions for efficiency or for rewarding and recognizing creativity and hard work, are few and far between. There is NOT a sense of teamwork, of everyone pulling together, at AbelsonTaylor.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKnow your people. Reward creativity and let people own their ideas. Roll up your sleeves and see what we're doing "down here." Get rid of inactive figureheads. Give employees more latitude for family functions and emergencies, as most other "good" workplaces have. Or continue to lose top talent.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Poor processes and bad management

    Traffic Coordinator (Former Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsAwesome/free snacks and drinks, relaxed dress code, tasty Friday lunch program, sponsored sports teams, best possible location for commuting by CTA.

    ConsThe hours are long, but it's advertising so that's to be expected. The problems arise when an old, paper-based process meets the reality. Printing and re-printing digital projects and bad handwriting cause more of the day-to-day problems at AT than most would be willing to admit. Some of that is growing pains like not having enough or fast enough printers for certain departments, but most of it is poor adaptation to the agency's new direction.

    The workplace has a depressing, adversarial feel to it between the departments, and the schedule is so meeting-heavy that finding your team in their offices or cubicles was a rarity. Communication breakdowns were the norm.

    Advice to Senior ManagementReview. Every. Process. You have wonderful creatives that need a better framework in which to function. And maybe think about ditching the archaic traffic system; heck, half of that department could be interns if you didn't treat them so terribly. You might brag about how being privately held makes AT unique, but some practices are industry-standard for a reason.

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

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    4 people found this helpful  

    A company that used to care about the work and the workers that now cares about neither.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsCompared to other agencies, salaries and benefits are marginally better

    ConsZero account staff training. Senior level account people who have absolutely no idea how to run or manage any kind of digital project. The fact that the agency clings to antiquated processes because it's the "AT way." Creative leadership is weak, with no vision.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMaybe you should promote people who can help the business instead of promoting your friends.

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

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Solid agency but a lot of work for little pay

    Traffic Coordinator (Current Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsGreat people
    Respected agency
    Free snacks, drinks, and catered Friday lunches

    ConsLow pay at entry level position
    Stressful work
    Can have long hours

    Advice to Senior ManagementValue your entry level employees a little more.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Not that great but it's a job.

    Senior Art Director (Current Employee)
    Chicago, IL

    ProsThe free snacks are nice especially
    when you can't get out for lunch or
    dinner because your too busy.
    Pay and benefits are pretty good.
    Was a great place to work, but has
    changed over past few years.

    ConsManagement is not that good. Account driven not
    creative driven agency. Account people make a lot
    of the creative decisions. Not that exciting creatively
    because its pharma. It's hard to make plans for after
    work activities because of last minute demands for
    overtime. Career opportunities mainly for account
    staff only.

    Advice to Senior ManagementShow up for meetings every now
    and then so you know whats going on.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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