GSW Worldwide Reviews

Updated September 16, 2014
Updated September 16, 2014
42 Reviews
2.8
42 Reviews
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GSW Worldwide President Phil Deschamps
Phil Deschamps
24 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Smart place.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at GSW Worldwide as a contractor for more than a year

    Pros

    Creatives are treated well and CDs strive to champion work that raises the bar.

    Cons

    The hours can get long at times, but everyone is cared for well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Smoother communications.

  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Horrible, negative, very high turnover workplace

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

    I have been working at GSW Worldwide full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Pay is about average (nothing to write home about).

    Cons

    - The environment is negative and weak
    - Everyone is miserable and looking elsewhere
    - Takes years and years to get promoted (although demotions happen more often)
    - Rounds of frequent layoffs
    - Company culture is nonexistent
    - Leadership is a "boys club"

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Time to face reality.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Poor management. Columbus headquarters dictates everything to the NYC branch at which I worked.

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

    I worked at GSW Worldwide full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Talented staff that works well together. People with great experience. Nice building; nice offices.

    Cons

    Mucky-mucks in Columbus watch everything that NY does. This is definitely a boys' club. I have heard of senior staff in Ohio doing egregious things, then being promoted. Very unethical company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    It's different, just not all that different from any other agency

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - In the Upper Third  in  Columbus, OH
    Current Employee - In the Upper Third in Columbus, OH

    I have been working at GSW Worldwide full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    If you are passionate about healthcare and love a challenge, this is the place to find it. If you appreciate process and the order that comes from it, this is the place for you. If you don't mind hard work, this is the place for you. If you want a company with focus, the opportunity to work on national and global brands you will find it here. You are surrounded by really smart people - MBAs , PhDs, MDs, and lots and lots of other talent. The pay is as competitive as any place I've ever worked and in line with every 4As compensation model I've seen. The culture is evolving in a very positive way. And we are big and growing. Hard work, commitment and a willingness to put yourself out there are the keys to advancement.

    I've recommended at least a 1/2 dozen people apply here in the last 2 years.

    Cons

    Pharma marketing is not for everyone. The processes are rigid to meet the various regulatory environments. Like any agency we have our ups and downs both in clients wins and losses as well as in people. Not any different than anyplace else is been or know of. Is working on better defined purpose, consistency of communication, transparency. Holding company holds us back, slows the hiring process, puts pressure on all.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communicate - the good, the bad, the ugly. It's all being talked about anyway, own the narrative. Get clear on the mission, vision and culture and live them. Make sure everyone understands it and is committed to advancing them. Always be recruiting. Go wider and bring in more people. Expand the intern program or get onto campuses to grab talent early. Give people opportunities in other offices.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    A never-ending nightmare.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Middle Manager  in  Columbus, OH
    Current Employee - Middle Manager in Columbus, OH

    I have been working at GSW Worldwide full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Good pay- but you'll pay for it

    Cons

    Poorly managed by lifers with their own agendas.

    Merciless devotion to time sheets and cost savings.

    Barren culture. Omnipresent investor/owners cost-cutting mandates and policies.

    No security- layoffs every quarter.

    Cookie-cutter creative developed by same cronies again and again.

    Account service staffed by old hacks or clueless young order takers.

    Location is terrible- busy suburban mall with endless traffic and new development springing up every day.

    IT has been outsourced to India, so simple help is a nightmare.

    Much of the staff is biding their time waiting to get fired to collect a severance but that perk may disappear soon.

    Impending company sale and relocation rumors scare everyone.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None. They know what they are doing. It's all about who can profit from the sale of the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    It's alright

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Digital Engineer  in  Westerville, OH
    Current Employee - Senior Digital Engineer in Westerville, OH

    I have been working at GSW Worldwide full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    They are willing to pay for top talent. The benefits package it pretty decent including a good amount of PTO and vacation.

    Cons

    You really need to take the PTO and vacation because it's not the sort of environment where you feel like sticking around more than necessary. The accounts teams are not good at their job so poorly communicated requirements and crunched deadlines get shifted down the line to other departments.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Not a horrible place

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Account Services  in  Columbus, OH
    Current Employee - Account Services in Columbus, OH

    I have been working at GSW Worldwide full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Salary is competitive, time off is generous.

    Cons

    Promotions are hard to get. There is no formal review process in place that every team follows across the company. Culture/fun around the office has declined due to budget. Lots of people are leaving due to management. We never know the business goals/objectives, if we hit forcast or if we fall short. Insight into that would help people understand things like why we didn't get bonuses the past 2 years. There have been rounds of layoffs within the past year. We have lost some good clients and lost a lot of pitches to bigger and better agencies. Management is not standard and your outcome at GSW is 100% dependant on if your manager is liked by upper management and if your manager likes you. It is a very toxic and political game. The 'boys club' is real.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take us public. Create a strict process for MBOs/reviews and ensure it it actually followed.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great place to start and get experience, but you burn out very quickly

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

    I worked at GSW Worldwide full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The salary and benefits are competitive and the opportunity for promotion exists, but it comes with a hefty price--working very long hours. Co workers are great to work with, but managers are grueling.

    Cons

    It's a challenge to sustain a career at GSW because of the intense working environment. Most staff are hardworking, but working 60-80 hours a week including weekends is burdensome and the staff are burnt out. Turnover is high. Timelines are unrealistic as such staff are required to work until 2am,3am, and 5am and then report to work the next day for 9am meetings. No doubt the quality, productivity and efficiency suffer as does work life balance. Where is HR on these grueling work schedules.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper management need to get in touch with how dept managers are running their teams as many staff will be running out the door. Better strategic planning and managing client expectations for timelines needs improvement.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    I was hired to freelance for two to three weeks and it would up being three days.

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

    I worked at GSW Worldwide as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    The people who are perm there are very nice.

    Cons

    I was given little direction and less than half of the materials I needed to do the job (briefs, etc).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    No comment.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Dying on the Vine

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Creative Director  in  Columbus, OH
    Current Employee - Associate Creative Director in Columbus, OH

    I have been working at GSW Worldwide full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Some great people invested in making a difference — they keep the morale afloat and really help generate good thinking and worthwhile projects. Work/life balance is not a problem - they are good stewards of employee's personal lives and offer flexibility not routinely found at other agencies. Basically, a 9 to 5 environment for the most part — which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending upon your view.

    Cons

    Lack of creative leadership is evident. Inconsistent opportunities for advancement — they flat out refuse to nurture and develop in-house talent. Win awards? Offer up great, relevant creative? Provide strategic guidance to account teams and clients alike? Forget it - it's all about managing some sort of process there. Reviews are non-existent and have no bearing on your future. Creative team is way too top-heavy with SVP Creative Directors managing down to minute details which negate any sort of autonomy or ownership from those below. Too much time spent mired in details (font choices, color palettes, spacing) rather than in investing time in expanding client successes with big, new, bold ideas. Inefficiencies abound with duplication of roles and meetings filled with nodders. Politics is beginning to trump merit.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Develop your talent - don't waste it on process-oriented tasks. Reward hard work with ownership opportunities. Build a framework for growth and stick to it. Realize what roles your upper creative leadership should play and get them to think strategically about client needs rather than play deep on design minutia. Incentivize new business across the board.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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