McGarry Bowen

  www.mcgarrybowen.com
  www.mcgarrybowen.com

McGarry Bowen Reviews

Updated November 17, 2014
Updated November 17, 2014
51 Reviews
2.9
51 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
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McGarry Bowen CEO John McGarry
John McGarry
23 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Some very nice people work here (in 4 reviews)

  • Good benefits and very easy to move up within the company (in 3 reviews)


Cons
  • Very corporate for an advertising agency, no work life balance (in 3 reviews)

  • some very dumb people, stressful, poor account management, unbalanced pay (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    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 (more than an 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.  

    Great people, boring work

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at McGarry Bowen

    Pros

    Lots of social events, dog friendly, good networking opportunities, looks good on your resume, clients are big names that people will recognize

    Cons

    Too many levels of management, too many people at the top, work is boring and not creative, long hours, no work/life balance, executives on power trips

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give creatives more opportunities

  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    Good company, bad for moving up

    • 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 full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    calm environment, good perks, wellness director on site

    Cons

    hard to move up in the creative department, talent recruiter isnt helpful whatsoever, hours are a little unfriendly

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take care of your current employees and challenge them a little more. You should be promoting within the company instead of laying people off and replacing them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Enter with Caution

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

    I worked at McGarry Bowen full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Compensation.
    Lots of work thrown your way.
    Experience with big blue chip brands

    Cons

    It can be a career killer if you don't navigate this agency correctly.

    Long hours.

    Little thanks for all the work you put into your work day.

    The Executive Creative Directors sell their own work.
    The ECD lady who thinks she is funny will sell her own work regardless of how many people toil over a project. Problem is, she's not funny. All her work is a spoof of some other piece of pop culture. Not the most original way to approach a project.

    The ECD guy who likes special effects and action will sell his own work. And guess what - it will have lots of special effects and action and no idea. Again, not a hard thing to pull off with money. Find an action scene and cut and paste.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Replace some upper management, or at the very least let the people who were hired at lower levels be the driving force behind the agency. Let them, let you, shine. Lots of wasted talent at the expense of upper management egos.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    True colors.

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

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

    Pros

    There are very talented, motivated and dedicated people here. Some true gems. Amazing creative directors if you are lucky enough to find them. The studio can work like a machine at times, if you learn how to work it.

    Cons

    You will come up with amazing work, and it will go absolutely nowhere. Accounts are managed by very junior level staff. They are asked to do too much and don't understand their jobs. This leads to things going down very bad paths and creatives running in circles with poor direction. There is very poor communication through the agency. Often the right hand doesn't even know there is a left hand. There was rarely a thank you for all of the weekends, all of the late nights, all of the missed time with family.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Respect people and their time more. Stop throwing people under the bus. Take responsibility for your own actions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    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 (less than an 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
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    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 (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
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    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 (more than an 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
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    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 (more than an 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
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    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 (less than an 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

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