McGarry Bowen

  www.mcgarrybowen.com
  www.mcgarrybowen.com
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

McGarry Bowen Reviews

Updated August 26, 2014
Updated August 26, 2014
47 Reviews
3.0
47 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
McGarry Bowen CEO John McGarry
John McGarry
22 Ratings

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    All things considered, not a bad place to work.

    • 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 McGarry Bowen full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good benefits, good work-life balance, competitive compensation.

    Cons

    Far from the subway. Other than that, there's nothing you wouldn't find at other agencies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Layoffs were scary. Executive management should have been more communicative.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Poor Leadership

    • 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 McGarry Bowen full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    -Good Salaries
    -Nice View
    -People tend to treat each other well
    -Regular reviews and increases

    Cons

    -Acct management thinks they own the place and doesn't care about delivering strong creative. Only want to give the clients what they want. Align themselves with the clients, don't try to sell creative work.
    -To be fair the creative department lacks strong leadership. There is no true Chief Creative Officer. Creatives are out-muscled by the dopey acct teams that think they are smarter than everyone else.
    -No one has control over the clients who are far too demanding and at times completely unreasonable. Basically they are totally mismanaged. Acct teams are basically human echo chambers repeating what the clients tell them to do.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find a way to strike better balance with your clients and hire better leaders on both the acct and creative teams.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Good People, Bad Structure

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

    I worked at McGarry Bowen as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Supportive people willing to help those starting out. Great view of Hudson and outdoor patios great for outdoor brainstorming.

    Cons

    The divide between digital and traditional isn't helpful in generating ideas. Both departments feels isolated from the other, which means creatives are asked to be all digital or all traditional. Personally, that isn't the way I like to think or the way I feel most creatives go about their work. It can be hard to marry the digital work with the traditional when both are isolated from each other.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of the digital/traditional divide and free employees to be well-rounded creatives.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  4. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5.  

    Great place to learn, hard place to stay

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

    I worked at McGarry Bowen full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Really great place to learn, if you are a swim-only type of person in a sink-or-swim situation. The people who work here (for the most part) are fun, energetic and smart. A+ broadcast production department, pretty good digital production. Known for Account Management, mcgarrybowen does a great job of keeping the client happy, even if it sacrifices the creative.

    Cons

    Much my experience at mcgarry was shaped by the client I worked on, but there are some structures and practices in place that would make little difference across the whole agency. The agency is very top-heavy and in lower positions you will often not be privy to conversations or politics that are out of your control, even if they affect your projects.

    Lots of great people, some of whom I consider friends, work here (or did). The turnover rate is extremely high - more so than other agencies from what I know. Management seems to care little about this, or does so too late by competing an offer versus of proactively trying to incentivize current employees to stay.

    Culture is okay; very much determined by the account you work on. I rarely fraternize with those outside of my immediate team.

    Location is also sub-par. While the views of the Hudson River are beautiful, walking 4 avenues and then some in the winter blizzards will not be missed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Leadership is lacking and seems only applicable to those immediately beneath you. Very little interaction between those in senior management and lower employees though decisions/conversations/actions of those in power affect everyone.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Run don't walk away

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

    I worked at McGarry Bowen full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Offline advertising. Want to produce tv spots, then come on in. They have a long history, and a good body of work. You might learn something.

    Cons

    Interested in digital? Run far and don't look back. At least they fired the CDO after just a year, but there's zero leadership or vision to speak of left.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Grow a pair. Listen to your employees. Figure out a business plan. Or just get out of the digital game.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    This company needs some help.

    • 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 McGarry Bowen full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The people are great, and they have some beautiful views and outdoor space, but unfortunately that's the only thing good about this place. I just want people to know what they are getting themselves into. Don't be swayed by the larger salaries--it isn't worth it.

    Cons

    Creative work is not important here, its just about getting something out the door. Account Management runs the place. They are "yes" men and women and don't ever push back on the clients. Saturday and Sundays are work days to them. They never follow up, they don't prepare schedules.

    The location--unless you live in Chelsea, be prepared for a long commute and lots of walking. The building's shuttle service is a joke.

    The culture--this isn't your typical fun advertising agency culture. Its a very understaffed agency. They don't prepare their staff for the scope of work clients bring in.

    The building--its old and even though they have renovated the lobby, the elevators are really slow, and its always either too hot or too cold. I know this shouldn't be anyone's focus, just be prepared that its hard to sit and work all day when you are uncomfortable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bring in someone from the outside to run Creative and Account Service, stop promoting from within.

    Only 10 days of vacation? That's not motivating for people who work a lot.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    You'll never get anything produced.

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

    I have been working at McGarry Bowen

    Pros

    There are no pros to speak of.

    Cons

    GCDs sell their own work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    High Turnover, High Burnout Rate, Bad Office Location, Boring Creative
    Their Better Days Are Behind Them...

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

    I have been working at McGarry Bowen full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Nice office space, dog friendly, nice people..too bad they don't stay around too long. Nice terrace space.

    Cons

    Hi turnover...nobody knows who anybody is...makes it very hard to get things done in an office employing approximately 700 people
    hi burnout rate due to unreasonable workloads, the building is really bad..elevators are horrible and the building is in a remote part of town.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Some of the old McGarry folks need to go, they are overpaid, don't do much and just muck up the process, as far as they are concerned nobody can replace John McGarry...but since he left they have not won any major accounts.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  10.  

    Nice place

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at McGarry Bowen

    Pros

    People, Culture, Location are all excellant

    Cons

    Sometimes creative work suffers from like of "pushing" the client

  11.  

    The people WANT to do great work, rarely succeed

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

    I worked at McGarry Bowen full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    -Amazing, caring coworkers; casual, lively environment
    -Mbu/wellness classes are great
    -Nice terrace

    Cons

    -Accounts always appear to be on the edge, which requires sacrifice of creative integrity to avoid attrition
    -Well-known lack of transparency
    -Drab NYC office located in inconvenient location.
    -Some accounts are on 5th floor, others on 10th/11th, i.e. lots of time loss 'commuting' between floors

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more sincere in your attempts to promote a culture, emphasis on digital work, and appreciation of employees. Upper management seems to sit comfortably at the top without sharing concrete 'vision' with the rest of the team.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

Worked for McGarry Bowen? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.