Starcom USA Reviews

Updated August 27, 2015
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3.3
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Starcom USA CEO Lisa Donohue
Lisa Donohue
48 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

159 Employee Reviews

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  1. Media Associate

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Starcom USA full-time

    Pros

    Great place to work and learn. Good culture/atmosphere and lots of opportunity

    Cons

    Limited compensation. Difficult to obtain salary raise or move up


  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. AMD

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

    Pros

    Great people. Great mgmt. Good place to start ones career and learn the industry.

    Cons

    No work life balance. Servicing the client is 24/7 for certain ones.


  7. Media Supervisor at Starcom

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Starcom USA (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great learning opportunities and great people. You work on some of the biggest clients in the name of advertising.

    Cons

    Upper Management can either be wonderful or horrible depending what team you are on. This can either make your experience great or awful. Pay your employees more, especially at lower levels


  8. 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.


  9. Helpful (2)

    Taking a turn for the worse.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Starcom USA full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Decent vacation, coffee, beer.... nothing ground breaking

    Cons

    Low compensation, lack of thought leadership, directors making employment decisions on who they socialize with outside of work and not who produces results. Management will not terminate directors that are poisoning clients with poor decision-msking

    Advice to Management

    Physician, heal thyself. A series of bad decisions in promoting to director level has been crippling the agency for years. No one wants to speed the energy to fight and clean up the cesspool. HR protects the underperformers while the quality workers move to greener pastures instead of wasting time on the losing battle.


  10. 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.


  11. Starcom

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Starcom USA full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great resources and support from research teams. Internal programs to promote innovation.

    Cons

    Accounts not effectively/efficiently staffed.

    Advice to Management

    Promote more cross location interactions.



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