JWT Action Reviews
“Media Buyer: Great entry level position, office culture and immediate supervisors; few opportunities for promotion”
Pros – Please note that all of my observations are of the Indianapolis office.
- Trial by fire: You learn the job by doing the job. There is plenty of support from experienced coworkers and supervisors that still do what you do, but you learn by doing.
- Supervisors: I personally felt that all three of the main supervisors within the Indianapolis office were excellent. If I were grading solely based on their efforts to make the workplace a worthwhile place to be, I would give 5 stars.
- Culture: The culture was fantastic while I worked there. People were friendly, supportive and kept the atmosphere (usually) light.There are plenty of opportunities to build office camaraderie, particularly when things are slow in the summer.
- Work/Life Ballance: In general the work/life balance was spot on. People typically work their 40 hours and then go home.
- Client: I personally liked the office's main client. All media buyers work with them directly and they were generally reasonable, likable individuals.
- Client Contact:The Indianapolis office primarily works on one client and everyone gets plenty of time working with them both face-to-face and via e-mail/phone. This could theoretically segue into an account team position at another agency if you know how to sell yourself correctly.
- Wages: The entry-level wage was less than I expected, but it's fine for a first position. The benefits package was generous. If you work here, you'll get plenty of time off.
Cons – Again, please note that all of my observations are on the Indianapolis office.
- Branch office: The Indianapolis office was a branch off the main JWT Action office in Akron, Ohio. The various branches are not equally considered for new clients even when their work is used to win new accounts.
- Growth Opportunities: Opportunities to gain more responsibility and "move up the corporate chain" are few and far between if you aren't willing to move. Because new clients are rarely shared outside of Akron, the only way to get more responsibility in Indianapolis is to wait for someone with more seniority to leave. The turnover for senior management within Indianapolis has been virtually non-existent for the past 5 years.
- Wages: Because there aren't many opportunities for additional responsibility, there also aren't many opportunities to increase your income. Raises were supposed to be doled out annually, but were frequently held up while I was there due to the poor economy and possible company mergers. Local management frequently works to get raises handed out, but there's only so much they can do.
- Location: Although I've called it been calling it the Indianapolis office through this entire review, the office was moved to Carmel in 2013. This happened after the staff was informed multiple times for a year before the move that the office would not move to Carmel. As the majority of the staff live on the south side, the move was not well received. The new office is actually a shared space with the branch's main client (and the building is branded with their logo), so it seems unlikely the branch will ever gain additional clients with the current setup.
- Positions: If you aren't interested in local television media buying, there isn't much this office will have to offer. All creative and account positions were either eliminated or moved to Akron when the Indianapolis branch merged with JWT Action several years ago.
Advice to Senior Management – Upper management: Use the Indianapolis office's strengths better and pitch Indy's direct response television skills to more clients. What the office currently does for one client could easily be adapted to more, but there apparently is no one selling the office or its strengths.
In short, invest in this office. The expertise of your supervisors and senior buyers is being wasted while the lack of new opportunities encourages all new buyers to leave after a short period of time.
Local management: Keep advocating for yourselves and your employees.
Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend
Pros – Many high profile clients to work with. Casual dress code. Free vending machines stocked with beer. Office is beautiful. Technology is great. Many holidays (everyone has the whole week between Christmas and New Years off).
Cons – Pay is TERRIBLE. It is standard to get a promotion and NOT get a raise for MONTHS. Many people were promoted for the 2nd time and had still not received a raise from the 1st promotion. So, in promoting you they shovel more work on you while continuing to pay you a laughable salary. Expect to work a lot of overtime and not get paid for any of it. They lure you in with the attractive clients and free beer, but don't be fooled. You'll work a LOT for very little.
Advice to Senior Management – Don't promote people without giving them a raise. Manage workload better so there isn't so much overtime.
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company
Pros – Some top notch accounts and there's a lot of truly talented people who are experts in their field. There's definitely some great resources for you to tap into (if you do the footwork.) Dress code is casual. Work environment is fun when you're not swamped with projects.
Cons – Low pay and management is not transparent about conditions affecting accounts. Most accounts do not have enough people to truly meet the client's needs. Crazy hours, constantly fluctuating work load, very hard to manage. No clear understanding of a set career path or how to get ahead. Some people have been there for years and are in the same position while others have jumped multiple levels in a matter of months. Management says they want to hear from you but they are never around. When people do address concerns to management they're usually frowned upon (IE let go)
Advice to Senior Management – Please be transparent about conditions affecting accounts. No one will fault you for extenuating circumstances impacting accounts. If a position is going to be temporary then tell people, don't lead them on. If an account's struggling don't tell the team everything is fine. Also stop looking outside of the agency for people who will just use the agency as a stepping ground for something better. You have lots of amazing, talented people right under your nose and it would be great if you'd start promoting from within.
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company
Pros – It's a job that pays the bills and really not hard to land a job at all.
Fun atmosphere full of kids (lots straight out of college)
Super lax dress code
Free beer, pop, food, etc. throughout the day
Everyone leaves at 5pm like a government job
Fun employee events and outings
Cool, active office space
Cons – Absolutely HORRIBLE pay. The hours expected vs. what you are paid nets out to minimum wage
No vertical movement whatsoever. I worked with a team member who had been in the same position for FIVE YEARS. They promise raises and never actually go through with them.
Management is absolutely incompetent in every department (Media is the worst). They don't share the workings of the agency to the "worker bees" and people are constantly in a state of tense confusion
No agency unity. 3rd and 4th floors operate almost as completely separate agencies
Elitism within certain teams leads to resentment among agency peers
Benefits suck - simple as that. They dangle the carrot of free beer/pop/etc. to make it seem fun, but it doesn't make up for the awful payscale
Advice to Senior Management – Quit and rehire with people who have "actual" agency experience in markets outside of Akron, OH.
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend
Pros – Atmosphere is great and second to none.
Cons – Compensation should be a lot better.
Advice to Senior Management – Better job screening when hiring and more training for new employees.
Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend
Pros – It's a job in a bad economy.
Cons – Office politics can be de-stabilizing.
Advice to Senior Management – Give new employees direction and specifics.
Pros – Their dress code is amazing. Shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops are the norm in the summer. Free beer and pop. Great vacation allowance and time off.
Cons – The pay is doesn't equal the effort they want you to put in and what they want you to give. Benefits are so so. I have been there over 2 years and I haven't see them promote from within one time on the account I work on. Management is shady and will never give it to you straight. Also, everything is a big secret between management and then after they have known about something for a few months they may or may not tell everyone else. Oh, and most likely you will end up doing someone else's job for them while they get all the credit and you get nothing in return.
Advice to Senior Management – Be more transparent, stop hiding everything from your "TEAM" and start treating your employees like you want them to stay.
Pros – Good teamwork among coworkers, appreciative managers with a good perspective on what's important. Lots of talented people that care about what they're doing.
Cons – A lot of work goes through in a day, sometimes making it hard to always focus or give projects they attention and thinking they deserve.
Advice to Senior Management – Seek to understand why things are happening rather than assuming you know what's happening. In the long run, I think it will save a lot of time.
Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company
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Pros – Everyone at the agency leaves at 5pm and vacation is provided with no question
Cons – Everyone at the agency leaves at 5pm regardless of whether they have more work to do or a deadline to meet. It's a completely inefficient company by requiring too many upper management status check-ins a week, too many processes making it impossible to get anything done during the day and little to no training.
No, I would not recommend this company to a friend