Saatchi & Saatchi LA Reviews

Updated August 17, 2014
Updated August 17, 2014
29 Reviews

2.6
29 Reviews
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Kevin Roberts
5 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Lots of management shuffles but does outstanding work for a great client

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

    I worked at Saatchi & Saatchi LA full-time

    Pros

    Company cares about its people, good perks, strong culture.
    This is a full service agency so everything is done in-house from account to creative to media. You get to experience the whole cycle. The work that it puts out for its client is outstanding and most often pretty high profile.

    Cons

    Certain departments have frequent management shuffles which makes being a new employee a bit difficult. There were some big personalities that didn't mesh.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 7 people found this helpful  

    Brace yourselves, this plane is going down!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Digital, Director Level  in  Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Digital, Director Level in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at Saatchi & Saatchi LA full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great benefits including fantastic policies to promote family life (very flexible hours, bereavement days, short-term disability to support ill spouses/children, etc.), decent amount of vacation/holiday time, you can bring your dog to work, (GREAT if you're a dog lover... could be a con if you're not), generally nice people – some who are very smart/talented, $25 gift certificates to Target in the form of peer "good job" cards, good work/life balance (I hear – I haven't personally experienced it), proximity to yummy Japanese food, Saatchi Exchange Program (work at S&S in a foreign country for 1-6 months)

    Cons

    If SSLA were a flight, we'd all be assuming "crash" positions. A sense of impending doom pervades, sometimes whispered, others times ranted on a drunken (extremely rare) night out – Saatchi is in rapid descent. The move to Plano? Leadership's statement that "the culture will change"? (To what?) The clear & present danger of having ONLY ONE, albeit very big, client? Whatever the reason, each week brings a few more empty seats. Passengers are leaping out the exit doors and some are so panicked, they don't even stop to grab a chute.

    The culture: "We're one big family" means incompetent managers NEVER, EVER get fired. Whether ranging from relatively minor over-sharing of intensely personal, completely inappropriate information about themselves or your colleagues to more serious problems like regular criticism sessions bordering on verbal abuse or ongoing incoherent/contradictory feedback causing days of wasted effort – your manager is here to stay. (Pro: even if you're clueless, you can enjoy a long career at Saatchi). Recommend: If you're considering SSLA ABSOLUTELY (discreetly) ask your future/potential colleagues the pros/cons of their supervisor before accepting the job. If they pause or choose their words very carefully, RUN. Short of switching departments you may get stuck with the worst boss you've ever had.

    The work overall: Accounts' inexperience combined with interoffice inefficiencies means watered-down creative is commonplace. Young and/or incompetent account teams over-anticipate clients' negative reactions, focusing the conversation around tactics rather than objectives. Without a strategic grounding in business needs/objectives the work has no foundation. Rather than selling, account reacts to real and imagined criticisms, kowtowing to every client comment regardless of validity and designing everything by committee. Just as often, great ideas are derailed by personality conflicts, the inability for individuals and departments to collaborate, and antiquated processes modeled on broadcast/print methodologies better suited to 1989 than 2014.

    Digital work: From leadership down, a lack of digital vision, knowledge and interest pervades the company and sabotages the success of its small core of impassioned digital natives. Leadership's disinterest in providing organizational support as demonstrated by the way they budget, assign roles/staff/full time positions and ignore planning in favor of reacting only when at desperate risk of losing the business filters down to account and creatives. Leadership's staffing practice of using "integrated" (ie. broadcast and print) art directors and copywriters only emphasizes the attitude that digital requires no particular expertise and isn't a priority. Other than a few (truly stellar digital art/creative directors) the creative team is bereft of the skills required to create modern digital work – and demonstrate no curiosity or desire to learn those skills because leadership consistently gives the impression that digital holds no value at Saatchi. The fairly recent hiring of a "crack" digital account team to solve these problems has only resulted in more tension as this team tries to completely overhaul the digital practice without any knowledge of how large-scale integrated agencies function or how to apply these methodologies to SSLA.

    The result: The "jet" having run out of fuel and blown its circa 1942 refurbished engine is plummeting earthward. The pilot's asleep and the copilot is picking his nose. Half of the passengers are snoring, passed out on booze & valium. They're oblivious to a dozen guys in kakis, jumping, screaming and gesturing at each other about how to fix the engine (despite having no mechanical experience). And quietly huddled in the back of the plane... efficiently but with manic intensity – the only passengers who have't lost their minds are tearing through luggage desperately looking for parachutes.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Provide comprehensive introduction/onboarding for new employees / disciplines and more robust training programs for current employees; encourage growth (for everyone); encourage mentor programs
    -Implement a REAL review process against well-defined roles and deliverables (not length of employment or heresay) that includes incentives for good work/growth and punishments for those who don't make an effort to improve
    - Don't just say everyone matters – take 360 peer reviews / supervisor reviews and ACT on them when supervisors repeatedly break the rules / underperform
    -Value digital and structure accordingly – from budget to hiring to process; train people who want to grow. Move or fire those who don't
    – Get to know people and position them for success based on their strengths, weaknesses, personality

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

    Great Company Culture & People, Poor Upper Mgt

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

    I worked at Saatchi & Saatchi LA full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great people and company culture. Perks are great.

    Cons

    Getting things done in a clear, concise manner.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Clarity in objectives and goals.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Slow, Bureaucratic, Non-Innovative

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Designer  in  Torrance, CA
    Current Employee - Designer in Torrance, CA

    I have been working at Saatchi & Saatchi LA as a contractor

    Pros

    great work/life balance
    people are usually friendly, usually...
    easy work
    no urgency, if you're into that
    very stable

    Cons

    culture is almost almost non-existent
    if you're working in creative, don't expect to come out with anything mind-blowing
    digital is thought of as a joke
    very traditional, non-innovative
    slow
    bureaucratic
    process is lacking overall
    highly political, some infighting between deptartments
    people are on their phones at meetings, lack of interest
    too many hands in the cookie jar
    you must love Toyota
    torrance...

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Leadership problem

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

    I have been working at Saatchi & Saatchi LA full-time

    Pros

    There are a lot of talented, smart people in the office. Torrance is boring but the beach is close and Target is next door. There used to be some great work here.

    Cons

    The leadership team talks to each other but not to their managers or the agency. There's no communication to the directors and managers. There is no training, support or encouragement to for employees to keep current. The attempt to become more "digital" has resulted in the hiring of political poseurs who don't actually know what they're doing. Creative has been completely silenced by the client, account, and data. There's also anxiety surrounding a potential move to Texas following Toyota, with a lot of secrecy and no communication or planning. It feels like SSLA is circling the drain.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Leadership: Communicate with your directors and managers. Support people who are loyal and will support you through change. The poseurs just want the big paycheck and they don't really care if the agency lives or dies. You may not realize this, but the masses are using their Summer Skip Days to look for new jobs.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Gone are the ideas and strategy, whats left are followers and ineptness!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Interactive Media Planner  in  Torrance, CA
    Former Employee - Interactive Media Planner in Torrance, CA

    I worked at Saatchi & Saatchi LA full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    When I first started Saatchi was an amazing place to be at. Everyone challenged each other, there was collaboration among employees. Everyone was working towards a common goal of producing the best possible product. Then the recall and tsunami happened and while Toyota has recovered nicely, Saatchi never made it back.

    Cons

    The culture that management has cultivated the past three years is to disregard innovative ideas and just implement. The strategy and creativity that made Saatchi great is gone! All that is left is to please the client at all costs and disregard great ideas. If you are not in a position of management then your ideas don't matter. With the integration of teams you have "yes" people in charge of teams who have knowledge of the digital landscape. Gone are the experienced planners and supervisors. In their stead are young kids with the mentality of what can you do for me or how does this benefit me. In essence you have the blind leading the blind with the only care of getting what they can from vendors.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your idea of changing the organizational culture is too little too late. You have to many people in positions of power based on longevity and not on knowledge of work. Ask yourself and be honest, how many good and bright people have left because of the inept leadership your directors on the C2 team exhibit?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Dysfunctional Management - Not a company to thrive at

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Producer  in  Torrance, CA
    Former Employee - Producer in Torrance, CA

    I worked at Saatchi & Saatchi LA as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Good work/life balance, pay is well above market value

    Cons

    The production team is disorganized and not structured well. Producers do not truly own projects due to the hierarchy of the organization and confusion between production and the project management office, which are completely separate roles. Producers are expected to manage and own a schedule that they don't have control over. There is little concern for creating a quality product, the priority is pleasing the client (Toyota) at all costs. Idea management throws production under the bus at the drop of a hat and makes promises without conferring with production. The entire agency feels very old school without regarding the current digital landscape.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Model the responsibilities of a producer after other successful agency models, with less concern over what "integrated production" means and more concern about being a leader in digital strategy and production..

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

    Not what it used to be

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

    I have been working at Saatchi & Saatchi LA

    Pros

    Benefits are good in terms of health coverage and paid time off. President and CEO are great and very approachable but, the same can't be said for directors.

    Cons

    Like anywhere else advancement is based on whether or not management likes you. If you can suck up and sacrifice your self worth you can definitely go places.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Just because someone has been with the company for many years it does not mean they bring value or are qualified for their position

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Amazing creative projects, great people

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

    I worked at Saatchi & Saatchi LA

    Pros

    The people at Saatchi keep everyone coming back. the atmosphere is relaxed while crazy busy projects happen all around. Lots of opportunity to work on cutting edge technology and innovations.

    Cons

    Change is slow to happen for needed reforms.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't always listen to the loudest voices in the agency- they can be the people with the most to say but most of the time the substance of what they are saying isn't great. More needs to be done to bring the social and site teams in with the overall agency process that works well for campaigns.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Great People, Creative Projects

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Editor  in  Torrance, CA
    Former Employee - Editor in Torrance, CA

    I worked at Saatchi & Saatchi LA as a contractor for more than a year

    Pros

    I worked with many of the producers and creatives at all levels and found everyone to be talented, passionate and down to earth. Sara Seibert was a joy to work with!

    Cons

    Not all the editing suits were running the same applications which made it difficult to work quickly at times. Data storage/vault was not well organized which made it difficult to find and pull video.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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