Starcom USA Reviews

Updated April 23, 2015
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3.2
138 Reviews
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Starcom USA CEO Lisa Donohue
Lisa Donohue
32 Ratings

Pros
  • Good training program to learn the fundamentals of media (in 14 reviews)

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

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

  • Long hours, difficult to maintain healthy work-life balance, below industry compensation package (in 20 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. The company is a fish out of water

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Depending on the team (and if the business stays) you will work with "resume builder" brands and network with ad tech and publishers (this is where you land your real job). You will learn "basic media planning" at most. If you want to further your growth and expertise, you must be proactive, since leadership is lazy, fragmented, and does not care about the team's personal growth, only their bonuses.

    Sometimes there are bagels.

    Cons

    Overall pay is below market if you do the research.

    Leadership does not inspire employees to want to do more, just get the minimum done. Leadership demands, they do not lead.

    Leadership will only address surface issues and avoid the root cause of the problem because of their egos or lack of knowledge. So said problem repeats itself over and over.

    It is only a matter of time before clients realize how out of touch the company is with the modern advertising landscape. That said, job security is a concern.

    Teams are understaffed and everyone is just a number until they leave.

    Advice to Management

    The operational structure is archaic. The correct structure needs to mirror the strengths and needs of today's industry (not 1960s madmen). Invest in high performance talent to grow the company. Stop wasting $$$ on reckless trips and client events. Staff up the bottom and weed out the lazy top, think horizontal. Learn from your mistakes, learn how to manage, learn how to inspire, and appreciate the few loyalist you have left.

  2. Helpful (1)

    Worst Career Decision of my Life

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Media Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Media Associate in Chicago, IL

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    It looks good on your resume, that's literally it.. other than that, it's full of co-workers who will talk down to you, treat you with insane disrespect, and disregard your ideas out of interest for their own careers. You're not saving lives at this place.. you're strategically placing media which doesn't have to be so hard. You do not know what team you will be placed on after you complete the media associate interview so there is a chance you will be placed on one of the most clicky and cutthroat teams in the building. I have met some okay people (the ration is probably 1:5 people are decent) so there is a slim chance you will luck out with a collaborative team (Good Luck!!). Oh and last but not least- this job is one of the worst paying you can get out of college... definitely not worth putting yourself through the pain

    Cons

    Working 60+ hours per week if you get on a large account. Horrible work life balance. Superficial colleagues. Open desk structure that is extremely weird and uncomfortable, it literally feels like you're in a some sort of third world sweat shop. Everyone is stressed out around you because everyone is dealing with high stress accounts. A very narrow minded environment where turnkey solutions trumps creative ideas. Extremely high turnover (it is a revolving door for a reason).. I can go on and on

    Advice to Management

    Make respecting employees and work-life balance a number 1 priority. Have Directors and Managers interface with Associates beyond the Supervisors so they have a clear picture of the real team dynamic.

  3. Helpful (1)

    Poor management, you're just a body

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Media Supervisor in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Media Supervisor in Chicago, IL

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

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Young culture, work hard play hard

    Cons

    Poor account management, terrible work-life balance

    Advice to Management

    Provide more training for rotational program. Hire more people to help balance work load.

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  5. Helpful (2)

    There is a reason it is a revolving door

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

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

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

    Pros

    You will learn about media planning and buying, lots of vacation, abundance of free meals/events/gifts/etc

    Cons

    - Most teams are under-staffed and combined with demanding clients leads to long hours
    - Low pay
    - Little consideration of career objectives by management
    - Few instances of talent development of the lower levels
    - It seems like the people that others don't like to work with are those getting promoted; also process for promotion is not clearly defined and seems political
    - Company is losing more clients than it is gaining

    Advice to Management

    Take some time to listen to the career objectives and desires of your employees and also ensure what is be preached at the VP level is being filtered down to the Director/AD level. There is a huge disconnect.

  6. Horrible place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Media A in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Media A in Chicago, IL

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

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

    Pros

    Free cereal
    Free lunches
    Learn a lot

    Cons

    Low pay
    Bad work environment
    Bad management

    Advice to Management

    Do something

  7. Helpful (1)

    Good place to start but very high turnover

    Current Employee - Media Associate
    Current Employee - Media Associate

    I have been working at Starcom USA full-time

    Pros

    Good training program to learn the fundamentals of media
    Big brands/clients

    Cons

    No work/life balance
    Understaffed
    No overtime
    Poor management

  8. BAD EXPERIENCE

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

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

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

    Pros

    Has some good employees and environment

    Cons

    Bad management,people aren't honest specially the senior management.

    Advice to Management

    Try to be fair and honest. Change for the better!!

  9. A great place for the "bottom 50%"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Media Supervisor in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Media Supervisor in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Starcom USA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Client roster, rotational program, office location

    Cons

    Non-monetary perks (client dinners, "freebies", vacation calendar) get old very quickly. What incentivizes a 23 year old doesn't work on older employees

    Advice to Management

    Go to business school. Learn how to run your business & grow your employees.

  10. Helpful (1)

    In a word "Combative"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Vice President
    Former Employee - Senior Vice President

    I worked at Starcom USA

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The work was award winning, and some of the best I've produced in my career. I was challenged intellectually and surrounded by very smart people.

    Cons

    The atmosphere is extremely competitive, and frankly back-stabbing. More than 50% of the job is about the politics, and favoritism is rampant. While the work was very strong, it is formulaic. And there is a clear style expected with a ''get in line soldier" mentality. The other thing to mention is not so much about the hours (although they are long) these people drink the Kool Aid and are married to the job, so work-life is extremely out of balance.

    Advice to Management

    Perhaps they should admit that they are the "Microsoft" of the agency world and do psychological screening with candidates to make sure they fit the mold and are will willing drink the Kool Aid.

  11. Helpful (1)

    2 years of hell

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Media Associate in Sydney (Australia)
    Current Employee - Media Associate in Sydney (Australia)

    I have been working at Starcom USA

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    * Free Magazines
    * Occasional VIP client events

    Cons

    * Nasty people
    * No growth in the Sydney office, retrenchments
    * Only people to be promoted were the ones that had brown nosed managers for years
    * No mentoring, managers took idea's for themselves

    Advice to Management

    They wouldnt care anyway

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