Starcom USA Reviews

Updated September 2, 2015
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3.1
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Starcom USA CEO Lisa Donohue
Lisa Donohue
30 Ratings

Pros
  • Decent work-life balance if you are on the right team (in 6 reviews)

  • Great benefits - lots of vacation, 35 hr minimum work week, 3 hr (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • This depends on what account you're on but the work-life balance can be awful (in 17 reviews)

  • Most teams are under-staffed and combined with demanding clients leads to long hours (in 20 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

86 Employee Reviews

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  1. As good as it can be in the media biz

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Starcom USA full-time

    Pros

    Smart people, great accounts, fun work environment, (mostly) reasonable leaders. Lots of "home-grown" talents compared to competition

    Cons

    Like any other big corporation -- change is slow, too many cooks in the kitchen, fighting to not get commoditized, talent retention... The same things that other agencies also struggle with


  2. Great Benefits and Learning Structure

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Media Supervisor in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Media Supervisor in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Starcom USA full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good amount of PTO, good health insurance, great learning opportunities, great work atmosphere

    Cons

    Pay is not as competitive, no bonus, understaffed on many accounts so expect long hours


  3. Poor staffing makes Starcom a sweatshop

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Media Supervisor in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Media Supervisor in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Starcom USA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You learn a lot about media and marketing in a short time You work on some of the biggest brands in the world It's good experience for your resume Really good at TV planning/buying, and you get a lot of swag

    Cons

    It's common to work 12 hour days and weekends Half the staff is missing on accounts, so you do 2-3 peoples jobs When new clients come onboard, one person has to do everything for 3 months before Starcom partially staffs it Not very creative. It's about efficient audience buying and not taking risks Starcom doesn't know how to retain talent. Everyone leaves after a year or two Most digital media plans are cookie cutter based on comScore ratings

    Advice to Management

    Focus on nurturing talent - all the good people leave as soon as they can. You're too addicted to TV money - get with digital or get stronger digital leadership. Maybe management should spin off the digital/analytics/search/social/programmatic stuff into a new agency, so people can learn in depth. Right now, they do some much across all digital media disciplines, I don't think anyone is really strong. It's good for planning, but not execution of campaigns. Put more emphasis on new biz - There's been too many losses.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Associate

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Starcom USA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    It is a younger company and there are a lot of fun things you can get out of it if you look for them. Vendor events, free intramural teams, nights out with great coworkers, etc. Fairly good benefits package, but pay is well below average.

    Cons

    This is a very mixed bag, as some roles that are at the same level are a lot better than others. In my personal experience, there is a lot said about work/life balance but nothing to actually back it up. We had 5 people on the team when I started, and now we're down to 2 with the same expectations of output. I come in early and leave quite late every day, but many times there are just too many client fire drills to handle well. As mentioned above, the salary has to about $20k below the level of work that you end up doing. Also, the promotions are pretty poorly handled and take forever, giving no insight into timelines unless you have another job offer on the table.

    Advice to Management

    Stop underpaying people so much and still expecting the world. I realize that it's part of the overall strategy to accept a higher turnover at the entry level positions and focus on attracting top talent, but it's gotten bad enough that people are leaving in droves. It may have been a record year for awards, but you're slowly bleeding out business and not winning enough to replace it.


  6. Starcom Chicago

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Media Supervisor in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Media Supervisor in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Starcom USA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Roster of clientele, forward-thinking company with Digital focus, vacation time, upward mobility and recognition for exceptional work, office environment, strong executive leadership

    Cons

    Like any large corporate machine, it's a bit inflexible for certain situations. For instance, rotations/promotions on larger client teams have a "waiting line". Must put yourself out there and get involved to be recognized. Additionally, mobility between sister companies under the Publicis umbrella is discouraged.


  7. The People Are Top Notch

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Starcom USA full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The people! Really awesome, smart people who are willing to bring great ideas to life. Made some lifelong friends at this company. The clients! Worked on very large, well-known brands from day one of working at the agency. The level of responsibility given and the opportunity to learn new things was amazing.

    Cons

    Long hours - Never saying no to clients means working to turn things around in a crunch. When everything is business critical, you can find yourself working from 8am until midnight for months and months on end. Low pay - Lots of people ended up leaving for more money at other agencies or in ad sales.


  8. Associate Media Director

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Starcom USA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great place. Casual atmosphere but very focused on the future/driving growth. Clients brands are second to none and the opportunities are limitless. Training programs are wonderful for new canidates entering the industry. Non monetary benefits are outstanding.

    Cons

    Its a big organization so you might feel like you're getting lost in the shuffle if you don't attempt to stand out. The pay doesn't seem to be competitive with other big agencies in Chicago and raises are always 'wait and see'. Hard to maintain a work/life balance given the hours.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to push transparency and work harder to win new business with involvement from top level management


  9. Come for the experience; leave with your expertise

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Media Supervisor in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Media Supervisor in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    You will learn a lot so long as you're on the right team and product. Lots of emphasis on digital, especially in the programmatic space.

    Cons

    Restructuring has left the company inefficient. Little faith that the company will grow so long as they keep this up. Also, the pay is terrible compared to your market value.


  10. Media Associate

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Media Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Media Associate in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    good people, good structure, good leadership

    Cons

    low compensation, long work hours

    Advice to Management

    Work on showing you value your employees by higher compensation and a better work-life balance


  11. Assoc Director

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Media Director in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Associate Media Director in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Starcom USA full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    good place for first job out of college.

    Cons

    limited work life balance. Clients less focused on big ideas and more focused on efficiencies and impressions. Programmatic will change the face of the way business is done

    Advice to Management

    Company needs to be more focused on the people. It's more about meeting numbers than staffing appropriately and ensuring employees are happy. Work life balance is an issue.



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