AKQA Reviews in London, England | Glassdoor

AKQA London Reviews

Updated February 15, 2017
26 reviews

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London, England (UK)

4.0
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AKQA CEO Ajaz Ahmed
Ajaz Ahmed
14 Ratings

26 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • great people, brands and leadership (in 37 reviews)

  • Great clients, some of the best quality developers in the biz (in 34 reviews)

Cons
  • I assume that at times work / life balance will not be ideal, but that is true for every agency in London (in 35 reviews)

  • Work culture of working very very long hours (in 46 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "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.


  2. "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.


  3. 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


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (4)

    "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.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Full of talent"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Lots of clever people, working on Nike was amazing, I was lucky enough to have a great boss

    Cons

    Sweatshop, crazy hours, some crazy characters

    Advice to Management

    I was there in 2010-2012 it's not the same anymore. You need to get back to the heydays. Get better client services people and stop losing your best creative talent.


  7. "Creatives conquer"

    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)
    Recommends

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

    Pros

    good work perks
    great work culture
    good clients

    Cons

    be willing to fight for a promotion


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Welcome to the invisible playground"

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

    Pros

    Enviable client list
    Newly refurbished office - must more soul than before
    Friendly & talented co-workers
    Opportunity to make some really good work
    Lots of free perks and experiences to take advantage of
    Amazingly creative tech department
    Opportunity to go beyond advertising into product design, app creation, etc

    Cons

    A lot of new creative voices at the top will obviously change the agency in some way. Whether that is a con or not remains to be seen, but it certainly has shaken things up a bit recently.

    Advice to Management

    It's never been a more exciting time to be in the game right now. Keep loving, keep fighting.


  9. "Project manager"

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

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

    Pros

    Good brands to work on. Opportunities to work abroad and gain experience in other offices. everyone that works here are really nice.

    Cons

    Career progression is slow. And promotions in delivery aren't great, neither are the pay rises. Sometimes hard to get clarity on objectives.

    Advice to Management

    Reserve more money for remuneration at annual review.


  10. "Great place to grow with great people!"

    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)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AKQA full-time

    Pros

    Very dynamic company with a flat structure, where everyone helps each other succeed. Great bunch of people and a management team that recognize people and help them flourish, if they demonstrate aptitude and ambition. The people at AKQA always generate great ideas to help customers and also grow their market.

    Cons

    The company is growing quickly and it's sometimes hard to remember all the new people and the roles.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing. Just don’t lose what makes AKQA so special as you continue to grow


  11. "Great for creative / digital marketing"

    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)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    On a day to day basis AKQA is a great place to work. People are friendly, highly creative, work environment is relaxed, no blame culture, people are excited about their work.
    It's one of the most creative and from that perspective perfectionist places I have worked.
    AKQA are fantastic if you want to deliver highly creative digital marketing.
    Also, formality and bureaucracy are fairly low, things get and can be done without much red tape.

    Cons

    The Pros are also a bit the cons of this company: while they are extremely creative and visionary, they are (as many other similar agencies) not as proficient when it comes to delivery. Project management is not very mature and while there are some great experts within technology the company may struggle with delivering large(er) scale, development heavy projects.
    While it is good that creative drives and rules, this can sometimes also lead to the wrong decisions being made by overlooking hard facts and business realities.
    The hotshots are often those that talk big words, but are not that good at really making things happen. But on a day to day basis you won't be impacted by them if you are not playing at most senior levels...

    Advice to Management

    While the acquisition by WPP did not have the same stifling impact for AKQA as similar acquisitions and mergers had on other agencies, AKQA had a phase of turmoil and internal restructuring...
    My advise would be to employ experienced and grown up senior management and not just fashionable kids who can talk but not walk...



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