Publicis Modem

  www.publicismodem.com
  www.publicismodem.com

Publicis Modem Reviews

Updated August 23, 2014
Updated August 23, 2014
63 Reviews
2.3
63 Reviews
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Publicis Modem CEO Jean-Philippe (JP) Maheu
Jean-Philippe (JP) Maheu
16 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • very good at allowing work life balance (in 5 reviews)

  • Chelsea Market is nearby so the food is good (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • New business is lacking- it would be nice to win some pitches to mix things up (in 5 reviews)

  • Very top heavy (too many VPs) and not enough middle management (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Has potential but needs new management asap.

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

    I worked at Publicis Modem

    Pros

    Usually respectful of employees' work/life balance, good location, laid-back office environment, variety of clients, nice people for the most part.

    Cons

    There's no leadership. People at the top are truly out of touch with the people doing the actual work. Morale is pretty low. There's heavy favoritism and a boys' club vibe. Disorganized - no real process in place, which gets frustrating when you're dealing with tight deadlines. No knowledge sharing at all - not good for a digital shop!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get in touch with all of your people - not just your favorites. Leave your ivory towers, roll up your sleeves and see how hard they work. Show us why you were chosen to run the show. As of now, we don't get it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    a matter of time

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

    I have been working at Publicis Modem

    Pros

    coworkers here are very nice to each other so it's very difficult to leave. Most look out for each other and have great personalities.

    Cons

    Salary sucks. We have something called GDPs every few months to set goals and something catastrophic always occur causing the company to overlook hard workers (for example a manager leaves and is replaced). When this happens, reviews aren't done and people who have been working there for years might not get promoted or get a raise. Most haven't had raises in 3 years. Rent has increased and people have families. There's also too much favoritism.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Review your hard workers, reward them! Everyone is leaving and as a previous person reviewed: This is a sinking ship if workers aren't happy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Titanic

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

    I have been working at Publicis Modem

    Pros

    - Plenty of work coming in
    - A new challenge every day
    - I cant think of any other pros

    Cons

    - Senior level management are so disconnected, and provide no vision for the company; absoluetly no idea how to run a company
    - Some are just dam right rude and childish
    - All talk no action
    - Worst place ive ever worked

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give up, go home. It won't be long until you hit the ice berg, but its a shame you'll take the rest of us with you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    The grass is not always greener...

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

    I have been working at Publicis Modem

    Pros

    - PubMo is not as bad as these reviews would lead you to believe. Most people forget the NYC iteration of Modem was only founded a couple of years ago, and was shortly thereafter merged with Digitas, then Publicis, then Dialog. On top of all that, we won and on-boarded several large, new accounts in one year, during all the mergers. These reviews need some context, so there it is.
    - There are some really talented and passionate people at the agency.
    - Most of the staff really cares. They care about doing a good job. They care about delivering great work. They are willing to stay late and work weekends to accomplish these goals. They want to make PubMo the best agency it can be - one they are proud to work for and enjoy working at.
    - We're really good at winning new business. Unless you are a horrible employee, expect to keep your job since the work keeps coming in.

    Cons

    As I said above, the reviews here are much harsher than the reality. However, there are nuggets of truth in every post:
    -We are top heavy. And yes, the number of ex digitas-ers here makes us uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable.
    -Management has no clue what it takes to get the work done. Or maybe they just don't appreciate the effort needed. The agency focus is on new business and relationship management. No one cares about day to day operations until there's a problem.
    -Major issues are swept under the rug to be dealt with another day. Or perhaps in hopes said issues will go away.
    -There's no vision or agency "battle cry". Even if it's the wrong strategy, people need something to rally around.
    -There's no transparency which leads to rumors and paranoia. Everyone would prefer a regular "straight talk express" versus the random and infrequent "spin machine".
    -The culture is toxic at the most senior levels, which trickles down. You can't have SVPs talking trash about other SVPs to junior staff. It's unprofessional and creates a truly hostile environment. This is sad, especially when most of us want to have a highly collaborative, cross-capability culture like we pitch to potential new clients.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's been a challenging couple of years for those of us who've stuck around. But you have to realize most of us, regardless of the economy, could have gotten other jobs. We stayed for a reason. We see potential in each other and the agency. Please:
    -Fix the staffing issue. It's obvious we have too many chiefs. Hire the Indians.
    -Be honest. As good of spinsters as you are, we can see through it. Or, at a minimum, communicate on a regular basis. The gossip machine here is the best in the biz.
    -Address issues head on. Make decisions. Do not ignore problems, change your mind, or give two different answers to the same problem to two different people. Be direct, not afraid. Set a vision and enforce it.
    -Police up your senior leadership team. Some act like children, others aren't doing their job. We understand a few are in the weeds doing work 3 levels beneath them, so see bullet 1 above.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Cronyism at its finest!

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

    I have been working at Publicis Modem

    Pros

    -Some of the best and brightest people I've worked with in over 15 years.
    -Very strong client base that is growing consistently.
    -Chelsea Market is a nice place to work. Please don't move!

    Cons

    -As the adage goes, "It's not what you know, but who you know." Or, in this case, "It's not what you know, it's whether or not you once worked with ____(insert VP name here)____ at Digitas"
    -Stop blaming Paris and Dallas for the ineptitude of upper management in New York.
    -Little things like "having internet that doesn't go down" or "bathrooms that do not have feces on the floor" are nice perks that we wish we could have.
    -Top heavy. This is laughable at this point. For example: count how many VPs there are in Marketing. Next, count how many Associates. What's the ratio?
    -The President is great at new business, but couldn't motivate a starving homeless man through a buffet line. The "inspirational speeches" at all company functions are cringe-worthy.
    -HR is a mess. It has been noted here on almost every post and is mocked daily in office watercooler conversation. Step one is admitting there is a problem with HR. Step two is firing him.
    -Office-wide messages are conveyed through rumor and hearsay. By the time an office happy hour is planned to make an important announcement, everyone knows. Yawn. The promotion debacle of 2009 could have been avoided with clear messages to the employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Glassdoor has been widely talked about in the office since the review numbers exploded recently. Please take that as a sign that there is a growing problem. The reviews are not all bitter ex-colleagues, but are current employees who are burnt out and frustrated. That word is pervasive here in the office, but is also getting around to the rest of the industry. Be wary. Revenue is up, but morale is low.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    The never ending marathon...

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

    I have been working at Publicis Modem

    Pros

    Amazing people
    Good spirit when it lasts long enough
    Great ambitions
    Heritage / DNA

    The work can be fun, and the client perdigree and scope of categories is refreshing

    Cons

    Blind allocation of resources to specific clients..forever
    Politics / Favortism
    Short term decision making approach day to day
    Lack of a coherent strategy or direction
    Weak fish in the partner agency fish tank
    Poor hiring strategy / chemistry vetting

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Preserve the Modem DNA
    Become 1st in digital once again
    Big picture
    People, People, People
    Find leaders
    Bottom heavy

    No opinion of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    I thought cliques went out in high school

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

    I worked at Publicis Modem

    Pros

    Smart and dedicated people who care about what they do and generally do it well
    My direct boss was one of the most caring people I ever worked for, I don't know why she is still there

    Cons

    If you aren't a F.O.D don't plan on advancing your career at Modem
    The beatings will continue until moral improves

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fewer politics
    less favoritism
    stop blowing smoke and be honest that Modem is now Publicis which means:
    - you all work for a giant corporation where people seen as faceless drones and the bottom line is trumps any smart decision making
    - that "first in digital heritage" you are so proud of? Kiss that goodbye because your new lord and master is doing everything the can to quash the creativity and passion that is the foundation of breakthrough thinking

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Made me never want to work in this industry again...

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

    I have been working at Publicis Modem

    Pros

    Interesting clients
    Strong creative minds
    More access to clients then typically found at most agencies

    Cons

    Micromanaging managers
    Incredibly hostile creative environment with very little trust for the work of account managers
    In general, very little trust between each department
    Elitism of senior management
    Never enough resources
    Long hours with very very low compensation
    Nonexistent HR department

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Seriously listen to those who work for you. They can see right through the BS so just don't serve it up - just makes people more angry.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great people, horrible management, work you until you burn out or get sick

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Vice President Associate Director in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Vice President Associate Director in New York, NY

    I worked at Publicis Modem

    Pros

    A phenomenal team can be made (differs from project to project, client to client- but it is possible to build a great team).
    There is a great coffee shop downstairs- almost makes it worthwhile going to work.

    Cons

    Little respect or support from upper management.
    They don't bring stakeholders into the scheduling process early enough.
    Empty promises from management.
    Expect 70 hour work weeks as the norm
    No time to be creative- just get the work done.
    Projects turn out to be completely flat (uncreative) due to deadline promises upper management. Can't hire to help on projects, you just have to turn your 70 hour work week into 90 hour work weeks to satisfy the deadlines that upper management has agreed to. And then you get blamed for the outcome of a project (no time alloted to the project, no resources approved to work on the project)
    Forget about getting promoted. They look to promote from outside of the company MOST of the time.
    Will not foster skills internally. In fact, you lose skills while working there.
    HR completely non supportive.

    Want to get sick, or burned out, or both? This is the place for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start offering programs to help employees advance their careers. Offer conference tickets, seminars, and class reimbursement. Start appreciating the hard work that is done by all members of a team, not just the 'favorites'. Stop promising clients that work will get done when there is no one to do the work. Provide reviews and promotions in a timely manner. Don't use the recession as an excuse to no do the right thing for the employees that you have managed to hold on to.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    So much work, so little reward

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

    I have been working at Publicis Modem

    Pros

    Smart people, good clients, cool work, great location. There's a lot of great raw material, and we are fortunate in these tough times to have an overabundance of paying work.

    Cons

    We are being worked so hard, and are achieving so much, yet are receiving so little recognition beyond a pat on the back. Hiring freezes, delayed reviews, no bonuses. We are chronically understaffed and overworked.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more transparent. It may be tough to work within the constraints of what gets laid down by Dallas and Paris, but find a way to reward the people who are working so hard. Do you know how low morale is right now?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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