AKQA Reviews | Glassdoor

AKQA Reviews

Updated May 11, 2017
114 reviews

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3.0
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AKQA CEO Ajaz Ahmed
Ajaz Ahmed
34 Ratings

114 Employee Reviews

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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. Helpful (1)

    "Current Employee"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AKQA full-time

    Pros

    Great people. New wins with exciting opportunities. Free Monday breakfasts and free happy hours!

    Cons

    Long work hours. No work/life balance. Leadership team still has a lot to work on.

    Advice to Management

    There have been some steps in the right direction. Stay focused on making this place great again. Continue hiring awesome people. Spend more time caring for your people, listening to them and helping them grow their careers.


  2. "Great if you can manage politics"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    Pros

    AKQA attracts interesting clients, has a creative and tech-forward culture, and produces good work. Employees are a diverse global mish mash.

    Cons

    SF management wasn't the best, often unaware of what it takes to deliver on an idea/a project/an initiative. As with most agencies, long hours are the norm.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "People are great. Very diverse. The work we get is largely boring and uninspiring."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Designer in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Designer in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    They pay pretty good pay compared to other creative agencies in town. They operate out of a cool space. Nice people.

    Cons

    The work we produce isn't always that great. I wish they were a little more design-first. More thought and attention needs to be put on aesthetics.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to the quieter voices.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Stepping stone"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Nice office. Friendly coworkers. Company wide events, yoga, runs, massage, acupuncture.

    Cons

    Politics. It's not about what you can do, but who you suck up to.


  5. Helpful (5)

    "Shadow of it's former self."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AKQA (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great people and clients. One of the best places I have worked.

    Cons

    Management expertise is lacking in many offices.

    Advice to Management

    Think Globally, Act Locally. Invest in the culture and people beyond Bananas and Beer.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Learned a lot, but it takes a toll"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior User Experience Designer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior User Experience Designer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great place to learn at a very fast pace

    Cons

    Too many egos, no respect for work life balance


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Great people who are being mismanaged"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Associate Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AKQA (More than a year)

    Pros

    The clients are great, and the work is good. Yes, you'll work on social posts, but you also have opportunities to work on big activations and win awards. Junior-Senior level creatives are friendly and smart. Project Management department is strong, organized, and full of good people. Work-life balance is great, especially for an agency.

    Cons

    Creative department has no structure. Lots of old-school creatives who don't fit in at a digital agency. Human Resources is a joke. Very serious accusations are never followed up on. Managing Director is truly a product of nepotism. Bleeding clients slowly.

    Advice to Management

    Stop wondering why turnover is so high. It's because you don't nurture talent. Make the office a safer space. Trust people to do their jobs well. Fire the 3 or 4 non-billable Creative Directors.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Decent Place to work, if you carve out your own thing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Creative in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Creative in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    AKQA was a decent place to work, with ups and downs.
    pros and cons, as all jobs have.

    Pros for me wer a great team that was dedicated to each other.
    we got to work on some great projects together.

    as for San Francisco, Pros were GREAT food and good vibes in Oakland.

    Cons

    Cons were lack of spine from upper management.
    whatever client wants, they will bend to oblige at the expense of their own people.

    also, the culture was very flat.

    last I heard, the place was in flux as a lot of people have left.

    so perhaps you can be a culture catalyst and make the most from some great clients.

    the potential is definitely there!

    Cons of SF: overall passive-aggressive city with wannabe stock option tech DBs running rampant.

    Advice to Management

    create a more supportive culture and be strong for your people.


  9. Helpful (11)

    "Some of the best and worst people I've met in advertising"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Executive in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Account Executive in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    High expectations of the creative work.
    Many brilliant, talented and cool people to work with (mostly junior and mid-level)
    Opportunity to learn a lot and work on high-profile and interesting clients

    Cons

    Leadership is out of touch with culture
    They seem to try out new management processes once a year, with pretty lackluster results
    Very corporate and bureaucratic.
    Will avoid promoting you for as long as possible, with as many excuses as they can think of
    No work life balance, creative sweatshop


  10. Helpful (20)

    "CD"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Creative Director in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Creative Director in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at AKQA full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great brands. Innovative and future forward. Some awesome people.

    Cons

    Profit before people. Disgusting, sociopathic behavior - clients and managers - is tolerated if money is being made.

    Advice to Management

    Try being nice. It might help.


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