AKQA 396 Reviews | Glassdoor

AKQA Reviews

Updated February 22, 2017
396 reviews

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396 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 45 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (13)

    "Toxic Workplace"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 (More than a year)

    Pros

    Salaries are good for the Portland area, if you negotiate

    Cons

    No work/life balance. The GM (Brian Skahan) actually complained when the creative team left before 6pm.
    No one, except the men with stay at home wives, had kids (so just imagine being a woman in that environment). Management is a boy's club.
    People were often hired or placed on accounts based on their personal relationships with Nike employees, which made it impossible to manage the client.
    Decks, decks, decks, and projects that never launch. Creatives will be tempted to get Nike on their resume, but half the work never leaves concepting, so you'll have nothing to add to your portfolio.
    Everyone's angry and overworked, and points the finger at other people. I've never seen an agency where there's no attempt at teamwork.
    Escalating issues to your boss was met with a shrug before being told to go figure something out yourself.
    Some talented people, but more egos and attitudes then anything else.

    Advice to Management

    Management - you have no idea how to treat people. Take a class. Adopt a policy that prevents workplace bullying. Work on maintaining diversity in your office instead of churning through employees.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Great people who are being mismanaged"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  3. Helpful (5)

    "Culturally Diverse and Cutting Edge"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    AKQA is the first agency I've worked at in the US that is not a boys club. Given that they're a worldwide organization, they bring people from all around the world to work in the Portland office whereby there's wonderful diversity, influencing great culture and cutting edge work.

    Cons

    The Portland office primarily works on all Nike business, so if you love Nike you're in luck because you'll get incrediblle opportunities but won't gain experience outside of sports.


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


  5. Helpful (29)

    "Work here if you hate yourself"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 5 years)

    Pros

    - Complimentary oxygen
    - If you have a brief moment of low self-esteem, observing the leadership team is a great source of perspective and relief
    - There's a clique to suit all tastes. Provided your tastes are "Soul Cycle Peter Pans", "Devoted ELT home-wreckers", or "Sociopathic CS Alcoholics"
    - On a Monday, the first 25 hard-boiled eggs are free

    Cons

    - Weekend work
    - Repetition of the phrase "think of this project like a startup", by people who have never worked at a startup
    - If you do go in to the office on a weekend, take plenty of fluids. AKQA does not pay for air conditioning for future ex employees that it forces to work over the weekend
    - Persistent changes of direction
    - Abuses of power
    - Ignorance / indifference of low morale
    - It's not a safe place for women to work

    Sociopaths. I'm serious. Don't work here.

    Advice to Management

    Go home / see a psychiatrist


  6. Helpful (1)

    "There goes that"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at AKQA full-time

    Pros

    Amazingly intelligent people in multiple disciplines. A great reputation amongst the industry at large. Robust tech team, both front and back end development. Thought leadership exhibited in several areas.

    Cons

    Cut a lot of corners in order to save hours and save money. This resulted in sup-par products and a bit of vaporware.

    Advice to Management

    It's time to refocus and stop making akqa a brand of one. the "visionary" at the top is bringing down the brand. He may be rich, but that doesn't make him the messiah.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "It's a job."

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

    Pros

    There is free breakfast on Mondays. And you get paid every two weeks.

    Cons

    Pay is low. Culture is fake or forced. Work life balance is non-existent. Demand and pressure to go above and beyond is high. Rewards are few and far between.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees. You are too distant from reality.


  8. Helpful (13)

    "A shell of it's former self"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 (More than a year)

    Pros

    The office culture and management used to be fantastic. A true family environment.

    Cons

    No work-life balance existed. I was on call 24/7 and leadership rarely pushed back against unrealistic asks from clients. I invested way more of myself than the company gave back to me. Politics prevented a lot of good work and made for a lot of terrible hires.

    Advice to Management

    Invest more into your employees than happy hours and snacks.


  9. "Big Dreams. Lots of Small Nike Work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at AKQA full-time

    Pros

    Smart People. Opportunity to have your work seen by millions of people. Great access to leadership. Good work/life balance.

    Cons

    Produce tons of decks to satisfy the Nike Machine. Lots of pitch decks but without the trade off of actually distributing work.

    Culture could use some work.

    Advice to Management

    Diversify the business.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Great place to work [if you're young or old"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Art Director in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Art Director in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AKQA full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Lots of cutting edge work has come out of here.

    Cons

    If you don't come in on Saturday, don't bother coming in on Sunday.

    Advice to Management

    get paid y'all.


  11. Helpful (2)

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

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.



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