Erwin-Penland Reviews

Updated March 27, 2015
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3.0
22 Reviews
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Joe Erwin
11 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. full time for over a year in nyc office

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

    I have been working at Erwin-Penland full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Majority of the employees are in SC which means that there is a better work life balance than most NYC agencies.

    Cons

    Working across two offices can be challenging.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  2. Highly motivated and unexperienced

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Creative in Greenville, SC
    Current Employee - Creative in Greenville, SC

    I have been working at Erwin-Penland full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Lots of creative people work here, there are many great ideas being generated between the different teams. Clients list is diversifying.

    Cons

    Leadership wants wider breadth of services but is stuck in a traditional ad world.
    "Good ol boys club" amongst new leadership.
    NY - SC dynamic challenging.
    Business development strategy seems nonexistent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Individual departments too controlled by leadership personnel with no experience pertaining to the individual departments skills. Quality, creativity and execution suffers. Lack of experiential knowledge within leadership and account management makes doing anything other than a print ad or TV spot impossible.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. Great place to be...once you're a "Golden Child"

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

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

    Pros

    - Monday all-agency meetings bring the entire agency together in one room for sharing, collaboration and fun. Really cool to maintain that small agency feel and team mentality despite the agency's continually growing size.
    - Relaxed dress code (although some employees take this too far...) and decent benefits/employee perks.
    - Senior leadership focused on innovation and creativity.
    - President/CEO Joe Erwin: he knows nearly every employee's name and leads by example. Really stand up guy!

    Cons

    - Questionable advancement selections.
    - Many leaders more concerned about their own growth and advancement than that of their team members.
    - Team/department/client politics can hinder growth opportunities for anyone who is not Supervisor-level or above.
    - "Churn 'em and burn 'em" effect for many entry level employees, particularly on Verizon.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be careful with Senior AEs - many are getting trapped without any growth opportunity because of account structures and/or their managers/account supervisors. You'll lose some really talented people if they aren't compensated, rewarded or advanced.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. Good starting point for a career.

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

    I worked at Erwin-Penland full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    I worked in the creative department, and it's a good way to come in and get your hands dirty right away. They allowed me to give presentations and get some really good pieces for my portfolio.

    Cons

    Compensation is low and they don't give bonuses, so be ready for that. Also, it's the sort of office culture where to get ahead, you need to do the things outside of work to develop friendship with the ones above you. It's not necessarily the quality of your work, so much as having rubbed the right elbows. That may work for some people. Promotions are a bit hard to come by.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bonuses would be a really good start, especially considering how unlikely it is to get a pay bump.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful

    Decent stepping stone

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

    I have been working at Erwin-Penland full-time

    Pros

    Great people. Hardworking, talented, passionate.

    Cons

    Definite growing pains. They don't seem to know what kind of company they want to be and are stumbling a bit in their efforts to shift their goals. People are dispensable and the culture is suffering. Huge disconnect between senior staff and regular employees with executives noticeably playing favorites. There are little to no training opportunities. The lack of diversity is glaring.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. Great Company for Senior Talent

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Erwin-Penland

    Pros

    Erwin Penland sets big goals, and history has shown that they meet them. The toolbox is big and clients diverse, and this place is going to continue to push the envelope and make great things in the world of advertising.

    Cons

    The opportunities for new and senior talent are much more prevelent than the opportunities for junior talent and team members who have been on the team for a while. The agency is currently going through a season of great change, especially with senior leadership, but the work and new clients coming on board are showing well so far.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try hard to keep the original DNA of the culture and core values as we evolve. It's what has made Erwin Penland such a great place to work, which directly effects the quality of work in the long run.

  8. 3 people found this helpful

    By any means necessary.

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

    I worked at Erwin-Penland full-time

    Pros

    EP is an unusually driven company. There is a commitment from leadership to reach some very lofty goals which I won't specify here except to say they are somewhat shallow. The client roster is becoming more diverse and the opportunities are getting better.

    Cons

    EP's commitment to reaching its goals far outweighs its commitment to its people and culture. Staff at all levels are seen as a means to an end, and so by extension everyone is expendable. The agency offers no training opportunities whatsoever to help employees adapt and learn new digital skills. Then, it fires people for lacking those skills—44 people in the last 12 months, many of which had been with the agency for 5-10 years or longer.

    The lack of diversity at EP is so incredible, it almost has to be intentional. Of the roughly 25 creatives ACD or higher, there are 24 white males and one white female. White males run creative, design, account service, biz dev, technology, digital strategy, media, intelligence, experiential, and operations. Look at the leadership page on the website. 33 of the 34 are white. And the one minority doesn't even work at EP anymore.

    I think over the long term EP will succeed in the quantitative sense of revenue growth and shiny trophies. I just have to wonder if leadership will look down from mountain top, see the trail of carnage and ask themselves if the cost was just too great.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Nope. They wouldn't listen anyway.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful

    Growing Pains

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

    I have been working at Erwin-Penland full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    I'm hoping that EP is just going through growing pains right now and it will improve. I think it WANTS to be a great place to work.

    Cons

    No one is afraid of hard work, but the worker bees aren't adequately compensated for their contributions. And it seems that they've stopped backfilling positions in the trenches, but continue to hire VPs. That totem pole is getting awfully top-heavy, and eventually there will be no one left to actually get the work done.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There are wonderful, devoted, talented, hard-working people at EP. Start showing them some appreciation. Promote from within. Half the people I know are in positions 2 levels below their capability, while new people are brought in to be their boss.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful

    Definitely not one of the best places to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Creative in Greenville, SC
    Current Employee - Creative in Greenville, SC

    I have been working at Erwin-Penland full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Company offers several "EPerks" to employees. On-site car wash, massage, tailoring, dry cleaning delivery/pick-up (all of which are not free).
    - Chances for advancement/promotions are great if you are an AE.

    Cons

    - No training of employees. In most cases, employees train each other.
    - Work-life balance: there is none. There is no gratitude for working to the wee hours of the morning, day upon day, week after week.
    - Chance for advancement/promotion is limited as a creative: particularly if you are female.
    - Not competitive in pay. Over-worked and under-paid employees.
    - Original Core Values are no longer part of the mantra. Culture is no longer the same.
    - While the business may be on the rise with potential new clients, the culture has completely changed.
    - EP alienates many of those that were/are loyal employees.
    - Huge lack of diversity. Unless by diversity you mean Caucasian male.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Part of the agency's problem is the VP's most recently hired aren't taking the time to get to know current creatives. Had they, some would not have been laid off most recently.
    It's completely insulting to anyone, creative or otherwise, to be told in an agency-wide meeting "We're going to be hiring the best creatives". Sorry. What? Who the hell are the people that currently work for your agency? They know the brands inside and out. Had ever given the opportunity to work on more creative projects, you could see that great talent was right under your nose.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful

    No other way to say it, worst job experience I've ever had.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Graphic Designer in Greenville, SC
    Former Employee - Graphic Designer in Greenville, SC

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

    Pros

    Great place to build your portfolio with some big name national accounts. Made lasting friendships with some truly great people.

    Cons

    Where to begin. We worked 60-70 hour weeks, sometimes working through entire weekends and working 2-3 weeks straight with no days off. Saw incredible growth but was never compensated for all the extra hours. Working 12-18 hour days would happen a couple times a month. Senior management would encourage and act like we should be happy about 15 hour shifts and for having the privilege of working at EP, while they would leave for the night. The compensation was below average and my wife would joke that I was more on call than the doctors at her hospital. They do a great job of coming across as a fun company but once you work there, you see how things really work. After almost 3 years I get called into a meeting and I think I'm being promoted but instead they're letting me go, never giving a real reason. Ask others who have worked there and you'll find out quick this place is really evil.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They rotate employees so often I don't know what advice to give. They really use and abuse people in a very mean way. They are very smart at coming across as this great company, but there is really something wrong with this place on a basic human level. Over the years I've seen some superstars from EP let go for no reason, people who have been there 10, 15+ years who helped build the company, and not for any reason at all, just fired like they were nothing. I think the few at the top can't even fathom the middle class life that most of their employees live. Stop and consider your fellow human beings, not to be melodramatic but I don't know how some of them sleep at night, they must have missed compassion somewhere along the lines. But as long as they're making money who cares about people right.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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