The Mars Agency

  www.themarsagency.com
  www.themarsagency.com

The Mars Agency Reviews

Updated September 29, 2014
Updated September 29, 2014
53 Reviews
3.0
53 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Ken Barnett
31 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work/life balance - managers flexible when you have to come in late/leave early (in 5 reviews)

  • There are a handful of really great people at Mars (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • Like any ad agency, it can get busy at times, but there is also lots of work-life balance days too (in 3 reviews)

  • The upper management is too top heavy (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Good place to work, company constantly tries to improve

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director, Client Leadership in Southfield, MI
    Current Employee - Director, Client Leadership in Southfield, MI

    I have been working at The Mars Agency full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    good location (suburb in metro Detroit), typical agency set up with beer/wine every friday and every town hall meeting, team building community services, lots of good and knowledgeable ppl who output great work, and constant effort to evolve processes and how business is done to ensure the agency stays on the cutting edge and is able to continue to offer clients relevancy in a constantly changing industry landscape. nice amount of PTO but ask for more when you come in or you'll get the standard 2 weeks. and no one minds you using your PTO. not a slave driving type of organization like other marketing agencies i've worked at. i'm able to maintain a good work life balance.

    Cons

    pay is a little on the lower side compared to industry standards, but intangibles like being able to work from home in bad weather or with a sick kid offset the lower pay. there are also some remnants of it being a family company since the agency was started by the CEO's mother.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    keep offering added value to employees and praising all the wins. it makes a difference when management recognizes the good job done by everyone who makes stuff happen to get the agency into 1 of the top 3 spots for shopper marketing agency rankings.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Some of the smartest strategic people I've ever worked with

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

    I worked at The Mars Agency full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great people. People. People. People. Among the smartest, most strategic and collaborative people I've ever worked with. A great drive to succeed and deliver the best work for clients. Great creative talent. Great strategy team. Incredible shopper marketing team. People on the ground in each market where major retailers are headquartered. Also nice environment, coffee bar, snacks every day, nice "Friday breakfast" once a month. And the agency does a lot for the community. People are passionate about that.

    Cons

    CEO yells at people on regular basis, including dropping plethora of "F-bombs." Everyone will get their turn.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop yelling. That would be it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Company prides themselves on overworking you

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

    I have been working at The Mars Agency full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    The atmosphere is nice and they really do have some nice perks. Coffee bar, daily snacks, lunches provides often, and other miscellaneous perks. Most people are nice to work with and the company has standardized training programs which has helped with entry level turnover.

    Cons

    There are favorites and it is very obvious. Senior leadership is rude and often unprofessional. Company thinks all employees should be working overtime and you are scolded if you are only working the 8:30-5 hours. You are basically told that you won't get by with the "standard 37.5 hours." I am going to flip if I sit at one more all company meeting where Ken or Rob yell at the people not working overtime.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If we truly have that much work to do, hire more people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    It's a great place with a good family / work life balance.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Art Director in Southfield, MI
    Current Employee - Senior Art Director in Southfield, MI

    I have been working at The Mars Agency full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Awesome people.
    Huge talent.
    Small agency atmosphere.
    Large agency dependability.

    Cons

    Lower salaries.
    Unfair previous reputation of years past.
    Not much else I can say about the company, but I have to reach the word minimum.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue the track your headed in, it's making a large difference!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Learned a lot but put in a box with no way out.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Graphic Designer/New Business Coordinator in Southfield, MI
    Former Employee - Graphic Designer/New Business Coordinator in Southfield, MI

    I worked at The Mars Agency full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Laid back and child friendly. Great co-workers, flex hours, free breakfast provided the first of every month. Nice work atmosphere, easily accessible to to restaurants and freeway, able to where comfortable and casual clothing to work.

    Cons

    The company does not value the loyalty of long-time employees that have been loyal for over 10 years. The upper management is too top heavy. Management does not value the opinions of the employees. No place for artist to advance to unless you are a favorite of the manager.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To encourage their employees with opportunities to learn with cutting-edge training, motivation to what to work late hours and incentives.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Vascillates from no process to too much

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

    I worked at The Mars Agency full-time

    Pros

    Co-workers are supportive and fun. Local office offers good work-life flexibility.

    Cons

    No structure. No growth potential. No career path. No standardized process. No training. No structure. Poor creative team. No managment support. Clients are king and if you don't click with them you're out. No 401K match. CEO writes in rambling, run-on sentences. Learn to use punctuation, Ken!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Revamp your creative team. Value your employees. Offer some training in basic agency stuff for those that have no experience. Sink or swim is not a viable option.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Trying to be better, but still needs improvement

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

    I have been working at The Mars Agency

    Pros

    Most people are nice or at least appear to be
    Compensation is fair if you are an external candidate
    Town Hall meetings
    Digital initiatives
    Transparency regarding some of the company's fiances

    Cons

    Lack of Diversity.....the agency is trying to become more multicultural but you can count the minorities.
    High level of nepotism....but this is expected considering it's a private family business
    Some of the positive Glassdoor reviews of summer 2013 were written to overcome the negative reviews from employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Nobody's perfect and it appears that management is trying to do better, which is a plus. Just please talk and treat all people with respect, from those in office services to SVP's.

    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Great Place - But not for everyone which is OK

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

    I have been working at The Mars Agency full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Being an independent agency, it has the flexibility to make choices rather than having to following the corporate rule. Having come from an Omnicom agency, I value this independence. They have smart and passionate senior management and long-standing clients who value the company as a partner. They're supportive of women (many of whom are in executive positions) and it's a rewarding environment for high performers. Progressive environment and thinking which means that it's very entrepreneurial.

    Cons

    Personally, I don't think that these are cons but rather realities. It's a fast-moving company that demands more than 7.5 hours per day. If you want a job where you check in and out, then this is not for you. If you are driven, thoughtful and want to be part of a successful culture, then MARS is great. It's not easy and like many agencies, it's demanding.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good people and opportunities are negated by heavy handed management enforcing negative culture.

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

    I worked at The Mars Agency

    Pros

    The mix of people in the office is great. The work is engaging and satisfying when projects are managed properly.

    Cons

    Employees sit back to watch the same train wrecks happen over and over because they feel powerless to being able to make change. If you're happy to fill a role within rigid structures that continually fail, you might be a Martian.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is a large gap where trust and respect for your employees should be. They can feel it missing.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Just OK

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

    I have been working at The Mars Agency

    Pros

    The people are top notch

    Cons

    Low pay, poor work/life balance.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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