AKQA Reviews in London, England | Glassdoor

AKQA London Reviews

Updated June 15, 2017
89 reviews

Filter

Filter

London, England (UK)

3.5
Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
AKQA CEO Ajaz Ahmed
Ajaz Ahmed
47 Ratings

89 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date

Pros
  • great people, brands and leadership (in 38 reviews)

  • Great clients, some of the best quality developers in the biz (in 35 reviews)

Cons
  • I assume that at times work / life balance will not be ideal, but that is true for every agency in London (in 36 reviews)

  • Work culture of working very very long hours (in 45 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "really good"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Client Services in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Client Services in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Professional, hard working really fun people and a good work culture. Fast paced and new jobs. Fast paced and new jobs

    Cons

    Lots of work - also a good thing. Communication within teams. Communication within teams.

    Advice to Management

    Really good company, great work, Really good company, great work, Really good company, great work,


  2. Helpful (11)

    "Toxic"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Senior Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AKQA full-time

    Pros

    WPP benefits
    Some good accounts to work on
    Great location

    Cons

    When I was offered a role there, I was over the moon in joining what I thought would be a dream job, with an inspirational leader.

    How wrong was I. The truth could not be further from this.

    The agency runs a culture of cut-throat bullying, which in reality comes from the top, down to every single layer of management. It is all down to who you are friends with, rather than how talented you are. Everyone is watching their backs.

    In all honesty, I could not wait to meet the CEO who you'd hear lots about.

    When I finally had the chance, in a meeting with colleagues, I couldn't believe the disrespect and demeaning attitude towards them. He ripped their work apart and questioned their professionalism. Needless to say, it destroyed everyone there, morally and mentally.

    They took the energy out of the room, it was said.
    True leaders create new ones, not destroy them.

    Many people have been leaving and the agency is all but a shell of its former self. Floors are now virtually empty and the majority of the remaining talent are looking to leave, just ask head hunters around London to get it first hand.

    Success in my team was judged on how much money I saved on timesheets and not on the quality of the work the team delivered.

    Don't be misled by hypocritical articles talking about culture and looking after people.
    Once you're in it is clear: It is profits before people.

    Avoid. I'd not recommend this place to anyone I know and care about.

    Advice to Management

    It is a small industry and reputation is everything, people talk and can see beyond the shiny articles, please act fast to save what was left of an once great agency. There are still a few talented people there, but they are all looking for work. Look at the practices put in place to hide endemic bullying.

    A real shock an agency in this day and age still operates this way in a city like London.


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Core Services - More like, welcome to being forgotten about..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Administrator in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Administrator in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good culture, no deadlines, free to work on whatever you choose.

    Cons

    No direction, no budget, huge divide between EU/USA. Sickening cult culture of management thinking that they are changing the world.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your people, especially your core services.


  4. Helpful (9)

    "Dog eat dog"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great reputation in the industry.

    Cons

    It's a fear driven culture that starts at the top with everyone being afraid of the ceo.


  5. "Exciting place (maybe lacks a bit of depth)"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - User Experience Designer in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - User Experience Designer in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great name
    Impressive client list
    Interesting people
    Super snazzy offices
    All the latest technology and opportunities to experiment with it
    Reasonable hours (except for the night before pitches)

    Cons

    Projects can be a little bit rapid and shallow, prevent you from going too deep into a problem.
    Somehow this affects the sort of people there, really great and convincing and outgoing but maybe also lacking in a little depth?

    Advice to Management

    Fight to create the space for creative people to challenge clients and really dig into their problems. Buzzwords are the bane of this industry don't let them take over.


  6. "Talented but Aloof People"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in London, England (UK)
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at AKQA as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    Very talented tech and creative people to work with. Great offices and in a great location in Farringdon. You feel like you are at an elite agency if you get in.

    Cons

    Seems to be very cliquey. Very hard to get to know people in the agency. Management are very aloof. Management and HR/Recruitment usually conspire to keep contractors in the dark with their intentions (to extend or cut short a contract). The project management tool is a pain to work with and not intuitive at all. Induction is a real problem in the delivery team. You are left to fend for yourself and need help for a while due to the demands of the projects and the systems administrations required. Can be very frustrating when under a large work burden. Not any good employee outreach systems to ask for help or to flag concerns, and this all goes back to induction - a very broken process.

    There is a poor referral process. If you have previously worked there and did good work, they seem to forget about you. People who have worked there previously should be the first numbers called as this would be cheaper and less stress (you are familiar with how the agency works).

    Advice to Management

    Sort out the induction process - make it a must have. It will ease a lot of pressure on new starters. It does not seem to be policed.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "UX Designer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - User Experience Designer in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - User Experience Designer in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    World-class clients and projects. Great for the portfolio. People are amazing.

    Cons

    Lack of Project Managing on some projects. Working until late many days.

    Advice to Management

    Since WPP acquired AKQA, we are becoming a consultancy rather than an agency.

    AKQA Response

    Feb 14, 2017

    Thank you for taking the time to share your views on AKQA in London. I'm proud of our team and the people we're hiring. It's hard to find brilliant talent and I believe we're very lucky with the ... More


  8. "A truly great place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Senior Management
    Former Freelancer - Senior Project Manager in London, England (UK)
    Former Freelancer - Senior Project Manager in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AKQA (More than a year)

    Pros

    Very skilled and knowledgable individuals.
    Helpful and friendly people in eery department.
    Teams operate in a way respective of the client.
    Innovative in every aspect.
    Stylish office space.

    Cons

    Hours can be long if working with an overseas client.
    Some roles are not wholly defined, so conflicts can arise.

    Advice to Management

    Continue shooting for the stars and encouraging staff to deliver their best, but be aware that sometimes the atmosphere can be tense due to overworking.


  9. Helpful (6)

    "A positive experience at a great agency"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AKQA full-time

    Pros

    - I work with a lovely team in London and lots of awesome people who are passionate about what they do and creating great work.
    - Daily fruit.
    - Weekly Friday drinks trolley.
    - Monthly Insight talks.
    - Monthly breakfasts.
    - Monthly Jimmy's Bar.
    - Regular massages.
    - Training's improved a lot recently and there's now loads of opportunities on offer which everyone can benefit from.
    - Great office with lots of space and areas to work in. - Lots of nearby transport links and great food places to choose from for lunch.

    Cons

    - Unless you work directly with people, it can be difficult to get to know others in the agency. Attending training workshops has helped with this recently but it would be nice to have more opportunities to meet others.
    - Exposure to the leadership team is limited. The monthly bar updates are too brief and don't involve enough people. The big all-company updates are great but it'd be better to have them more often, i.e. every quarter.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work!

    To make it an even better place to work, hold more company / cultural events so people can integrate more easily.

    Involve more people in the monthly bar updates and encourage better attendance. Also hold the big all-company event more regularly (i.e. every quarter). This would help keep people in the loop and would enable everyone to hear from the leadership team more often, which is only a good thing! We want to hear more about who's who, what's going on, how we're doing and where the agency's headed.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Great place for creative minds"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Future Academy Resident in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Future Academy Resident in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AKQA (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -Full of people with great ideas and bright minds
    -Interesting benefits
    -Easy-going colleagues

    Cons

    -Salary it's just ok, could be a little bit higher


Showing 89 of 443 reviews
Reset Filters