Blast Radius Reviews

Updated March 26, 2015
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2.5
102 Reviews
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Blast Radius CEO, Blast Radius Sam Landers
Sam Landers
13 Ratings

Pros
  • Used to be great people who worked there (in 14 reviews)

  • There are many bright, talented people who are fun and enjoyable to work with (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • Total failure by senior management to secure new clients (in 13 reviews)

  • They tout themselves as having a great corporate culture and excellent work-life balance (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. New York Office - Dedicated people asked to due the impossible

    • 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 Blast Radius full-time (more than a year)

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

    Pros

    Good amount of vacation days. Core group of dedicated individuals (small at best now) keeping the place alive.

    Cons

    A digital advertising company with little knowledge of what digital is anymore. Resourcing was sparse when available, and when not it was like pulling teeth getting anyone to commit. Committing meant giving it your all to project that was never scoped right to begin with. Client facing people would promise the sun and moon to clients, to keep their business, without consulting with Developers. Business would arrive with little direction on how to make it successful and even less man power to do so. Lot of work done offshore.

    Advice to Management

    Management?

  2. Helpful (1)

    Leadership doesn't really know where they want the company to go or be.

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

    I have been working at Blast Radius

    Negative Outlook
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Good people, flexible work environment.

    Cons

    Bad financial status due to parent relationship with WPP means people are leaving, but no one to replace them.

    Advice to Management

    Get serious about winning new business, hiring new people and rallying the ones you have.

  3. Helpful (4)

    Perfect Example of Why Mergers & Acquisitions Destroy Good Companies.

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

    I have been working at Blast Radius

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

    Pros

    Blast Radius was once a great place to work. The WPP acquisition started BR's slow bleed as they tightened the financial grip on management and paralyzed us leaving leadership with no control over the company anymore. WPP's financial freeze has prevented management from any freedom to hire, promote, retain, incentivize, or reward talent. A shift occurred due to WPP pressures to run projects with a goal to hit revenue targets instead of doing great work as solution to client and consumer needs.

    Clients started dropping off to go to smaller, more nimble shops, or taking our talent in-house themselves. Several rounds of layoffs and mass exodus by talented staff left behind a pale shadow of the company that once was growing across a dozen offices around the world. A few offices closed completely. Others were absorbed by Wunderman. One by one, leadership left in frustration as they realized they stood no chance against the monolithic WPP in trying to save the company. A merger with DesignKitchen happened in an attempt to revitalize the company and strengthen its position within the WPP network. Initial optimism diminished as DK leadership took over BR without the capacity to succeed. The merger came with poor communication, unfair discrepancies across the two legacy companies, and a major cultural rift across the offices.

    In its better years, BR used to:

    - attract and retain great talent and brilliant minds
    - look after their resources and balance typical agency burn out with lieu time and bonus incentives
    - have a strong work culture
    - pay well
    - attract highly visible global brands that had budget and courage to do sexy innovative work
    - offer relocation opportunities to one of the many offices around the world
    - provide a sabbatical program with an extra month of paid time off after every 3 years
    - provide mentors and career management advice
    - do great work

    Cons

    Sadly, BR today:

    - hasn't been able to give out raises or promotions in years (except in select cases)
    - communicates poorly across offices
    - isn't aligned internally on strategy or process
    - is becoming more divided across its offices
    - has lost its identity and direction in the agency world
    - leads out of Chicago despite the majority of the work produced by other offices
    - doesn't have a very current portfolio due to high production and development costs forcing clients to go take our great strategy and creative elsewhere

    I would like to see this company succeed, but I have little faith in today's leadership to make it happen especially under WPP.

    Advice to Management

    Take care of your employees, they're the talent that can help to reshape this company.
    Stop talking about plans for growth that you won't act upon.
    Be consistent and fair across all offices. One company, one culture.

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  5. Helpful (2)

    Once great agency that imploded following WPP acquisition; CEO was horrible!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Development Director in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Business Development Director in Chicago, IL

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

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

    Pros

    There were incredibly talented strategists and designers at Blast Radius during my time at the agency. Also got to work with some awesome clients.

    Cons

    The management was overloaded with incompetence, most of whom were hanging around just to get the WPP earn out and at the expense of the rank and file employees at Blast. The most senior members of the "leadership" team were especially insensitive to the rest of the organization and if you weren't in Vancouver, you were almost non-existent. It was well known that Blast had been losing money for years and grabbed at the WPP acquisition as a means to cash out for a very few people.

    Advice to Management

    There's been an entire change of management since I was at Blast, and that's a very good thing.

  6. A sinking ship, with a smattering of talented people.

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

    I worked at Blast Radius

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

    Pros

    Slices of the culture were good.

    Cons

    Strategy and creative collaboration was weak. Senior leadership could also use some tutoring.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out your strategy dept, elevate your creative game.

  7. Top down autocratic style

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

    I worked at Blast Radius

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

    Pros

    Good strategy team, great people, good technology, smart U/X

    Cons

    Autocratic self centred leadership that has recently been changed

    Advice to Management

    Clients are people too...treat them with kit gloves and they'll do the same to you

  8. Helpful (1)

    Was once a great place

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

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

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

    Pros

    Good people who work hard and they really care about what is produced. The design team works their but off but fail to be lead by good creative leads.

    Cons

    Upper management sucks. They only care about getting new work, not the process it takes to produce good work.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on good creative, that's how you got there.

  9. A great group of people.

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Different groups and disciples would work well together to bring ideas to life. Lot of camaraderie. Small enough to influence agency culture. One of which was Wry Wednesday's.

    Cons

    Some overly inflated egos spoil the pot.
    Most of the awesome people left or were replaced.
    Not the agency it once was.

    Advice to Management

    Show that you are invested in your employees future. Don't over burden them multiple projects and 70-80 hour work weeks. Encourage and support them by sending them to conferences and giving them some free time to recharge and enjoy their families and life.

  10. Former mid-level Creative at Blast (Seattle)

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

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

    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great people to work with
    Some good clients (at first)
    autonomy of culture in remote offices
    I worked with a couple great senior creative leaders (who have all now left)

    Cons

    Worst work experience I've had in my entire career.

    - Terrible management that ruled with an iron fist, stifling work and creativity
    - Very few raises, any raises given were delayed 6 months to a year after they were "given".
    - Promotions did not include raises up front. Only more workload.
    - No 401k match, US benefits are a mess since the Canadian main office doesn't know/care about them
    - Total failure by senior management to secure new clients
    - Several massive client(s) lost due to failure of many levels of leadership and network in-fighting
    - IT management was tone deaf and out of touch, refused to supply required software unless senior creative complained enough or escalated
    - Main office was extremely controlling and categorically ignored each and every issue and concern brought up
    - Proper chairs and equipment were not provided

    Advice to Management

    Enjoy your upward failure.

  11. Helpful (1)

    High Hopes Led to Much Disappointment

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

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

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

    Pros

    There are many bright, talented people who are fun and enjoyable to work with

    Worked on interesting projects for high profile clients

    Technical department is managed well, but other departments not as much

    Cons

    There's been a salary freeze for the last couple years meaning people have been promoted without receiving an increase in pay.

    This company is extremely top heavy - if you are in management or client services the pay and overall employee value is high, but if you're in production (designers or developers) expect to be at the bottom of the food chain. This is in surprising contrast to companies where creative and technical talent is highly valued.

    Project and Client Managers are frequently out of touch with the time needed to properly complete work causing resourcing issues and terrible work/life balance at times.

    Overall employee morale is pretty low - it can be super-frustrating working here.

    So many meetings and planning followed by more meetings eats up budget/time for great work.

    Many longtime employees are leaving.

    Advice to Management

    Start taking care of the people who take care of your company. The 2+ year salary freeze needs to be fixed pronto - then consider making salaries more competitive. Put the focus back into doing great cutting-edge work for your clients and winning awards - which will bring more companies knocking at your door instead of having to constantly pitch. For the love of god stop saying "synergy" in meetings.

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