Venables Bell & Partners
3.5 of 5 19 reviews
www.venablesbell.com San Francisco, CA 50 to 149 Employees

Venables Bell & Partners Reviews

Updated May 28, 2014
Venables Bell & Partners – San Francisco – “vbp awards”

All Employees Current Employees Only

3.5 19 reviews

                             

57% Approve of the CEO

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Bob Molineaux

(7 ratings)

59% of employees recommend this company to a friend
19 Employee Reviews
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    A bustling, energetic, fun place to work with some organizational challenges.

    Strategy (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsGreat employee culture -youthful, friendly, energetic
    A commitment to good creative/smart solutions
    Well staffed on most accounts

    ConsTrying to keep up with the changing digital landscape
    High turnover in the recent past, leading to organizational challenges

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    A great learning experience in a fun environment, but not very well managed.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsIt is a fun, creative environment to be in and all of the teams are really close. VB&P also usually offers almost two weeks off during Christmas, which is really generous.

    ConsVB&P is very low on resources across many departments- creative, account management, etc. This can put a very intense strain on the employees and require longer hours than most are capable of. The pay is also very low for the hours.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPut more time and effort into making the employees happy from the bottom-up. A lot of care is taken with the senior employees who have been around for a long time, but it is often at the expense of those at the bottom. Look into how you structure your departments and teams more carefully to make sure the employees aren't stretched too thin to really do their best work.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    When they lost the culture, it wasn't worth the pay

    Account Supervisor (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsThe culture used to be the best in the industry, but after losing a few clients and a lot of great talent it went downhill fast.

    ConsAll of the OG's left, as did the culture of the place. The hours are ridiculously long without the pay to back it up or thank you's from the executive team.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet to know everyone in the agency.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great industry experience

    Account Manager Intern (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsGreat experience and insight into agency work that goes behind global companies, friendly people, great work space in SF office

    ConsPeople seemed to be constantly changing, which is normal for the advertising industry. It would have been nice to get to know people for longer than a few months.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe more transparent

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great people, great work, hard working

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsIntegrity from top to bottom, creative and interesting work

    ConsThe salary is poor across the board unless you are a valued freelancer or creative or in a senior position.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Cool, fun agency, but miserable work-life balance

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    Pros- Young, exciting ad agency vibe
    - Big-name clients
    - Cool, modern offices
    - Free snacks all over the agency, refreshed throughout the day
    - Great location near Union Square
    - Free beer on tap on the forth floor
    - More free snacks!
    - Every water station has fresh lemon wedges
    - Free pizza, stacks of it, served weekly

    Cons- Weight gain from all the free snacks and pizza ;-)
    - Some of the longest workdays I've ever experienced
    - Lower salary, combined with the late nights, is a double whammy
    - Employee turnover seems high, as with most ad agencies
    - Open-plan office feels vibrant, but I found it noisy and distracting, affecting productivity
    - Laptops are standard issue, which sounds great, but meetings seem routinely full of distracted people, head buried in email
    - Seems like a fair amount of junior, inexperienced staff
    - Can feel chaotic and amateur
    - Some abrasive, disruptive personalities at junior and mid level
    - Account management sometimes seems like they're feeling their way through the dark
    - Human Resources seems misguided and out-of-touch

    Advice to Senior ManagementI would suggest a new game plan regarding Human Resources. It seems like much of the negative attributes of the agency could be addressed by an effective HR. Focus on the issue of long hours and the pay structure.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Very fun, relaxed atmosphere, great people. Hours can be long.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsSeems like everyone at Venables is fun to hang out with and it's small enough where you know most people by name. As a result, after working there for 6 months or so you feel like you've gained 100 new friends.

    ConsCreative teams are worked pretty hard, but I think that's typical for advertising. Weekends, long nights, etc. Some of the clients they go after are not what I would be excited to work on, but some are cool too.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Romper room where the inmates are running the asylum

    Brand Strategist (Current Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsBeautiful office. Great efforts are made to boost culture but cliques dominate both the work and the social events.

    ConsUnrealistic deadlines set by junior account people, who have no idea how creative is made. Expect to work weekends.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEvolve or stay a dinosaur and watch the smaller guys rise past you. Listen to the burnt out, negative employees who are leaving. They will tell you why the agency struggles with retention.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Fantastic advertising, but at the expense of employees

    Account Supervisor (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    Pros- The work always comes first.
    - You get to work with some of the smartest, hard-working people in advertising.
    - Startup mentality. Everyone is at the top of their game and has a get-it-done-no-matter-what-it-takes attitude.
    - Senior management publicly praises teams and calls out individual performances.
    - If you can make it here, every other job will seem easy by comparison.

    Cons- No work/life balance. Long hours and weekends are basically a given. Not openly stated, but culture provides pressure not to take vacations.
    - Working on pitches is miserable. Some people spend 24+ hours straight at the office and work for 3 weeks straight with no breaks/weekends.
    - Difficult to advance. Jobs-well-done result in praise, but not in additional salary, bonus or promotion.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFind a way to allow people to take time off (weekends & vacation) to avoid burnout. Provide better opportunities for promotion and reward for top performers.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    I love VB&P; I have been here 3.5years and it just keeps getting better.

    Account Director (Current Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsGreat culture, partner involvement in all accounts, and leadership is invested in doing right by the clients and also by the people of VB&P.

    ConsWe are still pretty young, SF-based, and independent, so there are of course challenges that come with that.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThere are more politics here than people might think and acknowledge, but it's still all about the work, which is great.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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