AKQA Reviews | Glassdoor

AKQA Reviews

Updated August 6, 2017
417 reviews

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417 Employee Reviews

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Pros
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 (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


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Keep at it, rock stars!"

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

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

    Pros

    People are dedicated, super smart, and help each other.

    Cons

    Team is under sourced at times

    Advice to Management

    Better snacks, bring in speakers monthly, more involvement in local events, more PR around the awesome work that gets made

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Can be Good to Great!"

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

    Pros

    - Solid team with a passion for creative excellence
    - Fun environment
    - Great clients
    - Good dose of work/life balance (with the occasional spikes)

    Cons

    - Decisions making process is slow (contrary to the fast moving digital space)
    - High emphasis on presentation polish sometimes overshadows the core issue/message

    Advice to Management

    - Operational transformation is key to long-term viability/stability
    - Focus on your people's morale
    - Be more visible as thought leaders within the industry


  4. Helpful (5)

    "Information Technology"

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

    I have been working at AKQA full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    people are nice, maybe a 'good' name on your resume.

    Cons

    AKQA is no longer a cool place to work, it is not same place as before, specially after WPP bought. Horrible corporate leadership, politics everywhere. bad health insurance, and pay. There is no version for the company, except cutting cost. if there is a choice, stay away from it.

    Advice to Management

    time to rethink and its all about people. if people are leaving, no way this place is a 'BEST' place to work.


  5. Helpful (13)

    "Toxic Workplace"

    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 (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.


  6. 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.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Culturally Diverse and Cutting Edge"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.

  8. Helpful (31)

    "Work here if you hate yourself"

    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 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


  9. Helpful (1)

    "There goes that"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "It's a job."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


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