Initiative Reviews

Updated April 20, 2015
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Employee Reviews

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  1. Ok as Agencies go.

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

    I worked at Initiative

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

    Pros

    Generous Paid time off. The people are nice but always looking for there next job. Company hires inexperienced people, trains them and looses them.

    Cons

    It is a very corporate place to work and the Los Angeles office marches to directions from New York. Leadership has never been strong. Turnover is high.

  2. Agency plagued by poor management and high turnover

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

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

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

    Pros

    Fun group of people who are creative and driven and genuinely care about their work. Definitely a work hard play hard culture. Lots of perks from reps, lunches, events, dinners etc.

    Cons

    This place will drive you into the ground. They don't replace people when they leave, making the remaining team members stretched so thin they can hardly function. The pay is so low, especially for the hours you work. Be prepared to work late and not feel rewarded. Senior management has no idea how teams are doing because they're too busy entertaining the clients and whatnot. And we get blank stares and speeches about how they don't know why people are leaving...

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to the goings on around you. Realize that losing handfuls of personnel is a greater issue and should be evaluated. Check in on office morale occasionally. Reward the hard workers because if you don't, they leave.

  3. Helpful (2)

    No Lifeguard on Duty: Beware of Sharks!

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

    I worked at Initiative full-time (more than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    The people, specifically the head of TV and the front desk receptionist.

    Cons

    HR + New Business are the weakest departments/teams and need the most attention/should be exposed.

    Agency hasn't won a new piece of business in ages, turn-over is a revolving door, and there is little success of moving around the company across accounts.

    Politically driven, though the politics are on an elementary school level in comparison to other agencies.

    Beware of the egotistical sharks on the upper level. They are cut throat and will cook up an agenda to get someone fired that they don't like.

    Advice to Management

    Open your eyes, examine why the agency hasn't won any new business and look at your HR crew critically....

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  5. Helpful (1)

    Lesser of all evils

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Analyst in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Analyst in Los Angeles, CA

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

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

    Pros

    same as many media agencies, you have great people working hard for a common goal, up against tough clients and a corporation built on a foundation of driving people into the ground until they leave

    Cons

    See pros. Lack of senior acknowledgement and care

  6. Intern

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

    I worked at Initiative as an intern (less than a year)

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    There is a good summer program that teaches you about the different positions in media. Good office culture. Beer Cart Friday

    Cons

    There were limited amount of hours to work and not much benefits for interns.

  7. Helpful (3)

    Like working at an automotive factory as 1 of 350 in a never-ending assembly line.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Digital Media Planner in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Digital Media Planner in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at Initiative 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

    - meetings with cool brands
    - free food/snacks almost everyday because of meetings
    - retirement plan options
    - lots of vacation time
    - opportunity to work with a charity
    - big name brands/accounts in house spending $$$

    Cons

    - BAD RETENTION RATE: people quit ever 10 days!
    - non-intimate coworking space: you don't know your peers working on other accounts at all
    - obscenely long hours
    - "churn and burn" type attitude
    - less instructive, more demanding management
    - unclear hierarchy
    - very political landscape
    - very gossipy
    - very click-y
    - bland office location (LA): call center desks, bright lighting, not enough seating or (internal) refreshments/nourishments worthy of such a large shop
    - inability to speak freely
    - inability to question the norm
    - frequent debates over basic media work

    Advice to Management

    We get it. There are 350+ people here, but that doesn't mean you have to make us all numbers in your book. The retention rate is SO bad! Try to retain your employees and get better work out of them. They've lost some major accounts recently for a reason! Try to stay away from this place!

  8. Helpful (1)

    Great place to work

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

    I have been working at Initiative full-time

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

    Pros

    The perks are great. We get a ton of vacation days, half days before 3 day weekends, 10 day break over Christmas and New Years. Work life balance is ok. Beer cart fridays. Tons of free food and drinks.

    Cons

    Promotions seem hard to come by; raises even harder. 401k matching only sticks if you stay with Initiative 3+ years.

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent.

  9. Good place

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Media Strategist in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Media Strategist in Atlanta, GA

    I have been working at Initiative full-time (less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Great, small teams. Teamwork atmosphere. Everyone is friendly. Overall good experience thus far in my short time here (only been 6 months).

    Cons

    Teams may be spread a bit to thin. It seems that in the interest of saving money for the client in the beginning, the teams aren't necessarily staffed to the right capacity for the work load (which comes with the territory sometimes b/c the workload could change or not be clear upfront)

  10. Helpful (3)

    Dishonest Hiring Practices at Initiative LA, Broken Agency Structure at Large

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Strategist in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Associate Strategist in Los Angeles, CA

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

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

    Pros

    Cool clients and office, good PTO and benefits, good amount of training available

    Cons

    Initiative pays less than almost every other agency in LA, and attempts to make up for this by essentially verbally promising overtime totaling up to 33% of your offered salary. Many of my coworkers had the exact same conversation in their interview. And then you begin working at the agency, and are told that you're not allowed to work overtime.

    Initiative also touts claims that every single person hired on will learn and work with digital. Beware, because this is not at all the case. You'll start on a strategy team, and soon learn that the digital investment team is taking care of 100% of digital strategy. Strategy and investment cannot be separated, but the business structure attempts to do this impossible task.

    The agency is broken and employees are taking notice, in turn bringing down employee moral and raising turnover rate. I would try to work at any other agency before Initiative- you'll at least have a higher salary.

    Advice to Management

    Leadership should be fighting for your employees salaries, fighting for their happiness. At least congratulate them on their work anniversaries, make them feel valued. Otherwise, Initiative will hold consistently understaffed accounts, leading to loss of accounts, leading to a bleak future at Initiative.

  11. Helpful (1)

    Hard work but great people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Strategy Supervisor in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Strategy Supervisor in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at Initiative full-time (more than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great people, good benefits, great company to learn a lot of different parts of the marketing/media business, good growth opportunities, awesome perks from sales reps, strong support from upper management

    Cons

    Bad work/life balance (but that's normal for the industry), long hours during the busy season, low pay in the beginning but as you move up the pay is very competitive for the industry

    Advice to Management

    Create a culture that respects a better work/life balance and you will get even better results from your employees

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