AKQA Reviews | Glassdoor

AKQA Reviews

Updated December 11, 2017
74 reviews

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  1. Helpful (11)

    "Shell of it's former self"

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

    I worked at AKQA (More than a year)

    Pros

    There were, and still are, many excellent, talented people at AKQA. At times, the culture wasn't so bad - the holiday and after work parties were always decent. The agency still lands good accounts from time to time, so there are occasionally opportunities to do good work.

    Cons

    Miserable work environment where nothing gets done. Middle and upper management are completely in over their heads. Employee turnover is absurdly high, due to low wages, little opportunity for advancement, and workplace blase. A very uninspiring place to work.

    Advice to Management

    Actually listen to the complaints of your employees. Push back on clients when the ask and/or timelines is unachievable. Don't treat employees like cogs, and they might stick around for more than a year.


  2. Helpful (12)

    "Account Executive"

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

    Pros

    Sadly, I gave up a happy healthy balanced work life at a previous agency to work at AKQA, strictly due to a significant pay increase. That's how they get you, they pay you well, but the recruiters don't paint the real picture. The turnover is VERY high! Higher than I've seen in most agencies. If you're joining the company as a supervisor or director, this is the place for you! The higher up you become, the less you have to do. Most supervisors & directors barely attend work. They show up at the office just long enough to make sure their workload is delegated to the hard working folks working long hours striving to make something of themselves. Sadly, while those hard working folks believe working at AKQA will advance their career, it will not because Verizon is their largest client and all Verizon has done for the company is hinder its creativity and innovation.

    Cons

    AKQA is not what is was back in 2010. It no longer is an innovative agency winning awards. It has become an agency holding on to client work that can pay the bills. I believe AKQA has the longevity of another 2 years, or until Verizon picks-up a new agency. The saddest part of AKQA's history is that they WERE innovators. However, AKQA sold out just like all the people who move for the pay increase. Think carefully before accepting an offer. More money isn't always worth it.

    Advice to Management

    Fire all upper management.

  3. Helpful (22)

    "So bad"

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

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

    Pros

    Access to the Nike employee store for cheaper gear

    Cons

    so many massive egos on low quality talent in creative, no interesting projects that last more than a month, account management people who barely even grasp the concept of digital, project management leadership that seems to stamp their feet, pout and sulk to try and get their own way, a tech team that's gone from 9 to 4 in less than a year, and business development that's developed little or no new business. The leadership of the office is terrible, no vision, no plan, just seemingly hanging on to doing Nike decks and social work forever. No culture, a lot of the people there are very young so their idea of culture is kicking a soccer ball around the office annoying everyone else.

    Advice to Management

    Rip it up and start again. Stop importing talentless hacks from the uk, find some interesting clients and make the office a place people don't dread walking in to.


  4. Helpful (15)

    "Zero culture, process"

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

    Pros

    interesting account cool ideas (nike)
    looks good in the resume

    Cons

    People are not friendly and out going. (london)
    Zero client management practices, nike gets what they want.
    Deck decks and more decks
    pdx office has no mission vision purpose, so people have their own agendas
    outdated processes and lack of role definition
    account people say, and do want they want at all costs and expense of the team
    Production house
    The norm is 7-8pm
    poor tools, i.e staffing, project management and developer tools
    no vibe just grind.

    Advice to Management

    get new management


  5. Helpful (16)

    "The worst agency I've ever worked for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    High profile clients and projects.

    Cons

    Aggressive and nasty leadership style. Poor leadership and teamwork. Creative teams are way understaffed and overworked leading to poor quality "just get it out the door" work. A rotating door. Don't bother going in.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Account Executive"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    -Expresso maker
    -Free milk (various types)

    Cons

    Sadly, I gave up a happy healthy balanced work life at a previous agency to work at AKQA, strictly due to a significant pay increase. That's how they get you, they pay you well, but the recruiters don't paint the real picture. The turnover is VERY high! Higher than I've seen in most agencies and I've been around the block. If you're joining the company as a supervisor or director, this is the place for you! The higher up you become, the less and less you have to work. Most supervisors & directors barely attend work. They show up at the office just long enough to make sure their workload is delegated to the hard working folks working long hours striving to make something of themselves. Sadly, while those hard working folks believe working at AKQA will advance their career, it will not because Verizon is their largest client and all Verizon has done for the company is hinder its creativity and innovation.

    AKQA is not what is was back in 2010. It no longer is an innovative agency winning awards. It has become an agency holding on to client work that can pay the bills. I believe AKQA has the longevity of another 2 years, or until Verizon picks-up a new agency. The saddest part of AKQA's history is that they WERE innovators. However, AKQA sold out just like all the people who move for the pay increase. Think carefully before accepting an offer. More money isn't always worth it.

    Advice to Management

    Hire for quality.


  7. Helpful (10)

    "Horrible culture, incompetent Leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    the ONLY good thing about this place is that once you put in some times, other recruiters will start contacting you for opportunities.

    Cons

    bad pay, no work-life balance, some accounts get to do great work while others suffer.

    Advice to Management

    hire an actual ECD. dont promote toxic children from within.

  8. Helpful (5)

    "Not a healthy environment for software professionals"

    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 full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I think Monday breakfast is a great thing.

    Cons

    Not a healthy environment for software professional.
    Highly political environment.
    They are yet to understand global culture.
    Lack of process and metrics. You might be putting your career at bet, if you are from the software world.

    Advice to Management

    Embrace the global change.Respect knowledge. We have to move our cheese.


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Worst work experience to date"

    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
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Nice office, nice people, interesting clients

    Cons

    Total chaos, horrible work hours, poor client management

    Advice to Management

    Hire outsider to come in and organize work flow and redefine work culture.


  10. Helpful (15)

    "Fading into creative irrelevance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Creative
    Former Employee - Creative
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I am reviewing this from a creative standpoint: there was great talent. Great people. A few folks trying to create a culture. There were interesting clients and the name of AKQA.

    Cons

    Strictly speaking as a creative: the place is run like a federal office. Bad timings, bad budgeting, only project work - there was no way to create big impactful work. That's why EVERYONE left. You would work hard to create presentation after presentation-they all would end up in the ever expanding graveyard of lost ideas.

    Advice to Management

    Well, seems like AKQA sold its soul to WPP. The people running the SF office now are a joke. Detached. Rude. Blind. The ECD's that have left by now have not been able to built a functioning place. When the first one left, the remaining ECD just steered this ship in circles. Upstream. Downstream. Nowhere. Then he left himself. The result: AKQA is a shadow of its former self. As a creative: AVOID! They still haven't found a new ECD for the office. Banners don't need ECD's.


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