Osborn & Barr

  www.osborn-barr.com
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Osborn & Barr Reviews

Updated Jul 16, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.4 25 reviews

27% Approve of the CEO

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Michael Turley

(15 ratings)

42% of employees recommend this company to a friend
25 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Great place for solid experience

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsFriendly midwestern company & with focused emphasis on agricultural marketing, bonus week off during holiday, great benefits, very generous and good support from direct managers.

    ConsLow emphasis on new business development, not many opportunities for advancement into higher management for junior people, pay could be higher.

    Advice to Senior ManagementCreate a culture that lives the brand that people can't help but stay.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Look before you leap

    Director (Former Employee) Saint Louis, MO

    ProsThe pros are usually short-lived but the benefits are commendable. The office space and location are amazing... Hard to beat, in fact.

    There is a core group of creatives who are phenomenally talented too.

    ConsThere are two questions you should ask before joining any agency: when was the last time you laid people off and will I have autonomy in my job or be required to check off of a list created by the partners. At Osborn Barr, they are constantly adding names to their list of people to fire. There is never a time throughout the year when they aren't out to get someone and managers spend the bulk of their time defending their teams and proving why they need to keep their people. Autonomy does not exist. You will repeatedly be told that the partners make the decisions and they make them together. That means EVERY decision, no matter how small.

    The partners run off anyone who knows what he/ she is doing because they are threatened by smart and talented people who want what is best for the people and not just the partners. There are really only two partners who exercise any power and most often it is used to prove that directors and managers really have no power at all. The titles there are meaningless. They neither represent responsibilities nor expertise.

    In an effort to recapture the culture from their glory days, they keep hiring former employees. Nothing is like it used to be. The agency is about numbers, not about people, not about creativity, not about positive culture, not about doing great work. It is not the Osborn Barr the founding fathers envisioned and it never will be if the current powers that be stay in those positions.

    I have never worked for people with less integrity and an inability to embrace truth and transparency.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAs most others have said, get out of the way. If you are going to stay on this business and be more than a finance department with some account people and a few creatives, you might want to learn about the ad industry. Also stop with all the lying, back biting and underhandedness. Your inability to trust trickles down.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Keep on moving... There's nothing to see here.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) New York, NY

    ProsThe benefits package is fantastic and the workspace is beautiful. Also if you want to learn about ag, you can do that to a degree.

    ConsNearly everyone is a short-timer because it's all about the numbers. It's not about the work or the people. The lack of integrity and level of dishonesty is off the charts, worse than a typical agency. They hire incredibly talented people, box them in and the eventually fire them. But they only fire the good ones. The revolving door of talent is frightening and the instability is overwhelming.You cannot do great things at this agency. Your safety lies in keeping your head down, flying under the radar, trying not to rock the boat and kissing the right backside. If you have an opinion or any real talent, you are doomed.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDon't be threatened by people who are smarter than you. They are the ones who can make you great again. Partners need to step out of the day to day and be partners. Demand honesty... from each other. It's your team that is failing, not the people you fire twice a year, every year. Your reputation will not be fixed by doing the same things over and over. What's the definition of insanity? Finally, the loudest partner... the one who has the most to say... isn't always right. if you don't like each other, how can you expect others to like you?

    – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
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    1 person found this helpful  

    If You Don't Like Getting Ran Over By Buses ....RUN!! You Will End Up Under One.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGreat office space in a great location!

    ConsWhere do I begin? The leadership is horrible. Supervisors and managers are known to throw you under the bus when they are in hot water. There is a high sense of the "crabs in a barrel" mentality. You'll get a constant sense that they don't care about you...because the don't. Directors and senior leaders are disconnected. They talk a good talk but they rarely walk! Cult like.

    Advice to Senior ManagementShow your employees that you care about them and their efforts.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Strong, Stable, Focused

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsOsborn Barr knows the space they are in - Ag and rural marketing. They don't pretend to be something they are not. They have knowledge experts and employees and clients that are passionate about the industry. Good people, good work/life balance and an open environment. Great benefits and free snacks too.

    ConsOwnership seems at odds with each other at times. Not a clear direction of what is expected. Great ideas or just profitability? You need both but depending who you are in the room with you get different direction. Confusing at times.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLet go. Trust your managers to do their job. Don't jump in and jump out. Empower, embrace and share success and failures.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great experience, great place to grow

    Intern (Former Employee) Saint Louis, MO

    ProsO+B offers a great learning environment for interns and employees. They truly have a passion for telling the story of agriculture

    ConsSome employees that do not have an agriculture background do not understand the importance of agricultural knowledge in this particular workplace.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Dying a slow death

    Manager (Former Employee) Saint Louis, MO

    ProsThis agency designed and built out a nice office space that sits next to Busch Stadium in St. Louis. It's pretty place. If you are a youth shortly out of college, the experience might be for you. It's good because they throw you directly into the fire, like all agencies. It's a good test of whether you'll make it in the agency world. There is no training at this organization, except how to do your timesheets. You left to your own talent to succeed or fail. They will work you to the bone, but you'll get deep in the real of working for an agency. You quickly know whether you like or hate this business. Also, if you believe that GMO's are the future of mankind, then you will like the people this agency spends its time with.

    ConsThe other reviews on this site pretty well get the story straight on this place.

    Leadership is lost; what is completely lost on them here is that the only elements of this organization that are consistent over the last several years are the people at the top levels. The CEO, CFO, head of HR, etc. These are the only folks who have been here anything longer than a short time. Turnover here is huge. So when when the blame comes down from on high, and people lose their jobs, which happens all of the time, there’s irony in it. Because everything that’s flawed here has been overseen by the people who aren’t touched by the punishment. It feels like an agency that’s tired. The people at the top don't have the fire for it…CEO, first in line. They arguably don't even like the business, and like one another seemingly less on some days. CEO talks openly about airy-fairy stuff of what the company can be all the time. Pretty sure he doesn't like the business that they are in.

    The CEO of this organization is renown around the agency to be really good at blaming people around him for failures and avoiding all sense of responsibility for things that happen here. He talks a big game about a lot of random ag stuff; how hard he works, how much he’s in the office, etc. But the people who actually crank out the work, he vilifies when he grows tired of them, or if they don’t meet the mold he envision of an employee here. It’ subjective, at best. And yet, he does little actual work that moves the business forward, with actual clients. Moral: Keep your distance from him; everyone is always to blame except him. You will get chucked under the bus eventually. I saw it happen with people at every level of the agency, even his "friends". There is an amazingly long list of people who have come in, become close to the guy, and ultimately hated him, because of his management style. It was sad to see.

    Do not waste a second of your career on this organization if you are a day over 25. They will have you believe that you're doing god’s work somehow, because it’s all about ag this and ag that. The only work you're doing is enriching small handful of people.

    Moral of the story: Heed what these other reviews are saying. When there is smoke, there's fire.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGo do what you actually want to do. Hire people who like running agencies. Bring the people back that you've ran off.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Intern

    Intern (Former Employee) Saint Louis, MO

    ProsGreat work environment, great location, worked on a great team

    ConsI had no bad experiences while working at O+B

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Come for the "agency experience" reps; leave soon after if you're a city-slicker

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsHours are among the friendliest you'll see in agency culture. For the most part, people really do leave by 6pm, and the benefits package is quite favorable.

    ConsUnless you grew up rural, went to a land-grant university, and joined the right agricultural Greek organization, you'll always be a second-class citizen when it comes to promotions and internal clout. Accountability is a malleable concept among middle management. Even by agency standards, this is not a place for long-term career advancement unless you fit a very specific client-facing mold, regardless of your professional talent.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAsk yourselves if some of your most valued could work elsewhere if their ag background were off the table. Evaluate their competency accordingly.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    O&B needs leadership and accountability

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Saint Louis, MO

    ProsGreat work/life balance, they mean well, kind people. This agency doesn't have the stress and pressure some have. Beautiful office space.

    ConsThe place is very poor at evaluating and solving problems. It's had a creative/digital/production group in chaos for years. They keep changing approach and plan and people. It wears folks out. They leave. People just want to do good work and know they can complete it without barriers. The highest leadership is very weak. CEO doesn't have a clue what's going on. He trusts his close circle too much. He's smart and passionate. Could be a great leader but completely out of touch. Often problems are pushed down and there is no accountability at higher levels. T

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou really must engage with people at all levels and trust them. You do not know better how to handle everything. Stop talking negatively about clients. Stop hiding out hoping no one will notice you. (Not just CEO) The people, and the agency need inspiration. Listen to them and lead. Get a smart new business machine going or you're in trouble.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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