McGarry Bowen Reviews

Updated April 25, 2015
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2.7
81 Reviews
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McGarry Bowen CEO John McGarry
John McGarry
24 Ratings

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 Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Nice people, good communication

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

    I worked at McGarry Bowen (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good office environment and IT runs smoothly.

    Cons

    Low rate for contractors and questionable deadlines.

    Advice to Management

    Spend a little more.

  2. A great place to work.

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

    I worked at McGarry Bowen

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

    Pros

    The people. Smart, capable and very team-oriented.

    Cons

    A lack of process made resourcing a challenge at times.

  3. Seems to be going in a downward spiral.

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

    I have been working at McGarry Bowen as a contractor (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    • I worked with some very fun people who made the job more tolerable.
    • Pay was pretty good as a contractor
    • Free soda and seltzer

    Cons

    • 12th ave
    • Account driven creative
    • not inspiring
    • Not a real digital agency (not even truly integrated)

    Advice to Management

    There is no secret that employees are unhappy. Town halls aren't even that enlightening.

  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. A place with a ton of opportunity to learn from others.

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

    I worked at McGarry Bowen

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

    Pros

    People, Culture, Promotions, Work, Opportunity.

    Cons

    Hours, Location, Time-Off, Compensation, Leadership.

  6. Great people, so-so work.

    • 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

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

    Pros

    Best thing about working at mcgarrybowen: the people you work with. Folks are talented, fired up, involved, and excited about what they do. Hard work and dedication can lead to advancement.

    Cons

    High turnover of entry level people. High pressure and tight deadlines. Sometimes the work feels a little flat. There seems to be a gap between the highest level "old guard" and everyone else.

    Advice to Management

    Feel more involved with the people actually working at your shop. Right now it seems to be a series of private fiefdoms held together loosely under the same banner.

  7. It's been a great learning experience, but I am ready to make more money and work in a bigger industry.

    • 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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    the people, and the culture

    Cons

    lack of resources, and size of agency.

    Advice to Management

    Take more time to train your junior employees

  8. Peaked in 2011

    • 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 (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Large company with vibrant social scene, since most people who work there are young and underpaid. The best thing about mgb is that they have bi-yearly reviews, which few ad agencies maintain with such structure.

    Cons

    Senior management is disorganized and is uninspiring. Constant and unfaltering turnover the past 2 years. Clients are very corporate and tend to have limited appetite for very creative solutions, so pick your account wisely. Lastly, the company struggles to understand how to evolve their identity and incorporate digital (being a historically "traditional" agency."

    Advice to Management

    Management should look to collaborate more in their decision-making, and work on developing the agency culture. As a large company, each account tends to have its own separate culture.

  9. Helpful (2)

    Getting worse

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

    I have been working at McGarry Bowen full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Company HR department does their best to boost morale (Thirsty Thursdays, etc). Company keeps trying to find their culture.

    Cons

    Staffing inconsistent across departments - people sitting watching TV or playing games at their desks while their counterparts in other departments are overworked and overwrought. Creative teams are especially overworked and I can't figure out why we don't hire more creative people. Digital producers are like account people and do nothing but financial stuff and know nothing about digital production. Account people go from AAE to Account Director in record time but seems rare that the promotions are warrented. I've heard that MCGB is now known as the agency that promotes account people before their time.

    Advice to Management

    Wake up. Smell the coffee. Look at your talent and make some hard decisions. You can't keep expecting people to work nights, weekends and holidays because account management messed up and didn't plan ahead.

  10. Associate Creative Director

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

    I worked at McGarry Bowen (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    There are no pros to comment on.

    Cons

    HR is the worst I have come by in my career. Incredibly disorganized and poor management of an ad agency.

    Advice to Management

    Hire good HR people, bring up morale.

  11. Was a good place, turning into sweatshop

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

    I worked at McGarry Bowen

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Morale-building events and company celebrations are frequent and well-attended. Interesting office space. Dogs allowed, so that can make things fun...or not. The people are for the most part still nice, at least at the low to mid-range. Losing or in danger of losing key accounts.

    Cons

    Very old school in its creative thinking. Digital and non-traditional media still seen as second-class. Creative work is spotty. Driven by account and the bottom line so it's becoming a sweatshop. This place doesn't ever so no to ridiculous client requests, they just say, "How fast?" Most accounts are understaffed.

    Advice to Management

    Take a more contemporary approach to creative work. Give people more opportunity to explore different disciplines and accounts. Hire more people to avoid burnout.

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