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Found 53 of over 54 reviews
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I recently received an offer from iProspect (part of Dentsu) I’ve heard ups and downs about this company. I currently work for a great company and not sure if I should leave. The new opportunity pays a lot more than I currently make. Does anyone have any advice about this company and whether I should take the job or not?
Senior Vice President
Role at WPP OpenX new company ? I was approached for regional role. I’m still wrapping my brain around the model. Seems good? Always hard to say from ppt slides vs reality. Any thoughts or insights? What’s the culture like? Vision? Leadership? Any pros/cons appreciated
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Top Review Highlights by Sentiment
- "Your fellow writers and editors are amazing people." (in 9 reviews)
- "Everyone gets the same pay (benchmarked against the US standards) so you can live anywhere you want in the world without worrying whether the company will cut your pay because of lower living costs." (in 5 reviews)
- "Everyone is smart; no one personality dominates; and people are genuinely interesting." (in 4 reviews)
- "Amazing opportunities to learn from some of the best writers and editors I've ever been around." (in 4 reviews)
- "Awesome team members." (in 4 reviews)
- "But rather than acknowledge or meaningfully address that, leadership constantly tries to paper over it, and convince you that what looks like chaos is actually growth." (in 13 reviews)
- "Benefits are awful." (in 5 reviews)
- "You could literally be a journalist with 20 years of experience at a national publication (and we’ve had more than a couple), and you could easily be determined to be a Level 1 content manager earning $50k because you lack SEO experience." (in 4 reviews)
- "All the teams work in their own siloes and it's rare to see transparency and collaboration across teams." (in 4 reviews)
- "no training on the 12+ apps the company uses." (in 3 reviews)
Ratings by Demographics
This rating reflects the overall rating of Animalz and is not affected by filters.
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- Former Employee, more than 1 year★★★★★Jan 9, 2023 - Content Manager in New York, NYRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
If you’re someone who’s terrific at context switching, and a very competent (and patient) writer, Animalz was once a pretty neat gig. The pay was and remains awful relative to US market rates, but the previously high-trust, low-oversight management approach meant it used to be easy for skilled people to do work and own their own calendars by-and-large. This made the place a mecca for people who worked to live, instead of those who live to work, and for people who had other projects/businesses/side-hustles to also give their attentions to. However, I am currently talking about a completely different company (the Animalz of the past) than the one I am about to talk about (the Animalz of the more-recent-past and present).
Animalz is an absolute textbook of mismanagement – in my time the company went from being in a position of imperious advantage through the COVID period to being in an absolute death spiral now. The company is awash in cynicism at every level. Shocking rates of pay compared to market averages. No-clue leadership team rinsing the company for massive salaries and reciting Monty Python bits during All-Hands despite catastrophic staff churn and client churn. Product announcements than come to nothing. Deafeningly insensitive attempts at DEI. If you’re a writer here you’ll pretty quickly start wondering why you’re doing a lot of customer success and strategy work, despite the fact that: there is almost certainly a CSM and a strategist on your team; they both get paid more than you; and, in the present climate, their jobs are more secure than yours. Idiotic org chart management has plagued Animalz for two years at least while prior management play-acted that the company – a standard-issue content farm – was actually a technology startup. CSMs, for instance, are redundant for a company that sells something so simple and that most clients, unfortunately, treat as a tiresome irrelevance anyway. No one in the ‘product’ division ever had a clue about product, and the Animalz array remained sadly undiversified despite the fact that the company would now be printing money if they’d invested in, say, video content during the pandemic. As with all mismanaged companies, incentives for Animalz employees are absolutely all over the place. Knowing that there’s not enough work to go around, the leadership team decided to impose production quotas. This was such a self-own that, despite the initiative ostensibly being put in place to increase output, it led to the company firing or downgrading a number of their best people just because they hadn’t been given enough work during a given month to meet quota or, as is incredibly frequently the case, because the work they’d done had been improperly billed. Animalz has no institutional memory and does not account for historical productivity; it arbitrarily assigned a uniform quota, and anyone who was below it after a couple months was sent to the slaughterhouse, irrespective of specific circumstances (including being on vacation, illness etc.). Again, these quotas are mandated despite: a) a lack of available work b) a lack of training for new CMs, several of whom I mentored and who had horrific experiences here c) imbalanced distribution of duties among the team, so that CM workloads frequently get overwhelming, while non-CMs bear no responsibility whatsoever for deliverables or performance d) the fact that you as a writer are not even going to be paid market rate for your experience or skills, while doing 2.5 jobs, at least This complete waking nightmare for writers is not made any easier by Animalz’s pointlessly over-elaborated editing schema. While individual editors here are good at what they do, the editing norms at Animalz appear to take it as given that all of the company’s writers can’t write, and that all of the readers of the company’s work aren’t bright enough to understand even the most familiar turns of figurative language. Not a good basis for getting the best possible work out of your writing stable. Training and institutional knowledge access are both non-existent. I’d be astonished if the company still exists for all intents and purposes in a year – best case scenario it will have morphed into an AI content farm (a Christmas which a great many of the more turkey-minded staff seem weirdly enthusiastic about). Plenty of other perfectly good writers will have been ground through the mill by then, whatever the outcome.Continue reading
- Former Employee, more than 1 year★★★★★Dec 15, 2022 - Content Marketing ManagerRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Animalz has a knack for hiring amazing people. The editors, writers, and most of the team leads are talented and empathetic, really focusing on teamwork. The editors especially will force you to improve your writing through their high standards, discerning eyes, and constructive feedback. I became a much better content marketer under my team lead's direction and my editor's guidance. Truly flexible hours because the workforce is globally distributed. Outside of meetings with your team and your clients, you can do your work whenever you want. If you're lucky, you get to write for big-name clients in tech, and usually will be able to gain additional experience writing across verticals. While most clients sign on for blog posts or articles, some clients request different kinds of content that you can use to fill your portfolio, like social media copy for Twitter or LinkedIn, copywriting for landing pages, whitepapers, and eBooks. The Animalz brand is relatively well-known in the content marketing world, built mostly on its past reputation more than its current state. Having Animalz on your resume alone can open a lot of doors for freelancing and job hunting.
Animalz has been rapidly spiraling toward its doom for a while now. Customer churn due to both the state of the tech industry and Animalz's high price point is ridiculously high. And employee attrition is right there too. Morale sank to rock bottom after three highly-respected editors were unceremoniously and suddenly laid off in November. Scheduled cost of living adjustments and promotion cycles were put on indefinite freeze until leadership could bring Animalz out of its financial nose dive. There are no professional development or growth opportunities like an upskill fund, structured content marketing courses (which you'd think Animalz could develop with the combined talent that lives there) -- or even time for CMs to upskill with their rigorous workloads. Given all these factors, why would anyone choose to stick with the company when the company hasn't shown any commitment to us, the employees? Leadership states that they've been focused on bettering the financials of the company first by focusing on production and developing its new AI content service, and employee retention and development have had to sit on the back burner in the meantime. In fact, the attrition has been called out as a positive because leadership didn't have to lay off any CMs to match our decreasing customer base. While I acknowledge that some of my coworkers have had nothing but positive experiences working at Animalz, that hasn't been true for myself and many current and ex-colleagues. There's a reason why the average tenure of an Animalz employee is just over a year, according to LinkedIn. It's because most sane content marketers that focus on quality of work over quantity work aren't set up to succeed at Animalz. There are so many systemic issues at Animalz, but the main problem that bleeds into all the others: The leaders at the helm of the company making the big business decisions have no idea what they're doing, and don't lead with empathy for the people actually doing the work that Animalz sells - CMs, editors, TLs and CSMs. When I started at Animalz, the agency was in the midst of a furious hiring spree to catch up with the unsustainable workloads they had signed due to onboarding new clients. My client already had a backlog before my first day because they had been waiting for me to start. Backlogs and being behind on client work is a common theme at Animalz and leadership treats it like a failure on the part of CMs, TLs and CSMs when it's a process issue. Production goals are extremely difficult for most CMs to meet. You're expected to write 8 high-quality articles or an equivalent length per month (~2 per week). This doesn't sound like much at first, but the work pace is grueling, especially with the number of times your drafts need to be reviewed if you're under L4. This makes it extremely easy to fall behind on delivery dates and your KPIs -- and then stay behind forever. And that's exactly what happened to me. I started trying to work overtime to catch up but I could never reach that unattainable 8-article goal due to my clients not giving approvals in time and the extra responsibilities we're expected to do -- client revisions for each piece, monthly reporting and client meetings, doing ideation and creating content briefs. Not to mention my own personal issues outside of work, outside of my control. Inevitably, I started burning out just 6 months into my Animalz experience. If I had to point to a single defining moment as the point of no return for Animalz, it would be when a specific person was hired to whip CMs and TLs into shape so that the company would increase production. The processes she's put in place penalize CMs for not delivering a full 8 credits every month, but doesn't allow room or understanding for the delays and issues that cause us to not be able to do so. Under her watchful eye, anyone with low monthly production averages gets flagged as underperformers. They get put on performance improvement plans, regardless of whether or not their Team Lead agrees with the decision, to try to manage them out or squeeze every last ounce of productivity out of them forcefully. Some of our international employees with lower KPIs have been placed without notice on a pay-per-credit model -- or even let go with no notice. Most importantly, we were told if you can't maintain a 3-month rolling monthly average of 6.5 articles, you can't take time off. When you put an already-worn axe to the grinder, something's got to give. For me, that was my mental and physical health. I wanted so badly to take some PTO time off to recover, but the company moved from 20 days PTO to "unlimited" PTO - with the caveat that you had to be meeting your 3-month production average of 6.5 credits. In a perfect world, where everything goes right -- yes, 6.5 credits wouldn't be unreasonable to expect. But for those of us working on the ground level, we know it's not possible for many of us - especially those with any form of neurodivergence. I was unable to take time off... and so I continued to burn out until there was nothing left of me to give until finally, I flunked out of Animalz. Despite the quality of my work constantly being praised by editors, clients, my TL and CSM, I was an underperformer based solely on quantity - which is the main metric by which leadership evaluates your work. There is no empathy for the hard, meaningful work that we do. We're treated like robots, supposed to churn out content day after day. Leadership lacks the fundamental understanding of what goes into creating content for our clients; they really believe that you should be spending two days per article, even accounting for editorial review cycles and queues, and use one day for the other work tasks heaped on us. Despite the flexible schedules, there is no work-life balance. The delivery date is supreme; I know several other CMs and I have pulled allnighters and worked weekends to get articles submitted to the editing queues on time... and pray that the editors, who are now very overworked doing 1.5x their previous workloads, can get feedback to you in time to deliver. It's common nowadays for me to see my editor log in early and work late to make sure we all get our pieces back by end of day, which is really disheartening. As a former colleague noted in their review, Animalz causes many of us to develop or worsen problems with substances, sleep, and anxiety due to the stress of the job. Because of the editorial team layoffs, there's now a huge problem with quality. Our clients pay to get really good content that's been reviewed up to three times -- usually by an editor twice and a copyeditor once. For L4+ CMs, that was one editor review and one copyeditor review. Now, the copyediting stage has been replaced for L4+ CMs... with Grammarly. A poor substitute for the careful review of our gifted copyeditor team. When concerns have been raised about this, leadership said the quality you get from Grammarly is about on par with a copyeditor's review and that if you're really that concerned, you can raise the issue with our Lead Editor and fight to get approved to put your pieces in the copyediting queue. Perhaps I wasn't the right fit for Animalz. I'm sure that this review will be ignored or publicly refuted, as was once done by our CEO in an email to all employees, as the remarks of a disgruntled ex-employee. But after talking to many current and ex-Animalz, I've come to think that most people aren't right for Animalz. Or rather, Animalz isn't the right company for most people, because the people in charge don't know how to manage it.Continue reading
- Current Employee, more than 1 year★★★★★Dec 13, 2022 - Content Manager in Dublin, DublinRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Really strong focus on positive work culture (lovely people). Excellent opportunities for training and career growth, transparency in terms of which team members earn what salary and how to get promoted to a higher salary level. Pretty flat structure. Extremely strict and talented editors (that's a good thing), and managers who genuinely care.
Can be a heavy workload for the uninitiated, but manageable and well-compensated. Clients, as others have pointed out, could be a challenge. I found the job a bit stressful sometimes.Continue reading
- Former Employee★★★★★Dec 1, 2022 - Anonymous EmployeeRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
During my time at Animalz I learned a huge amount about content marketing and experienced significant career growth. I also worked with amazing people- writers, strategists and team leads, who supported and encouraged that growth.
Unfortunately my experience was an anomaly. Everything that made this a supportive and enriching place to work is now gone. The previous emphasis on learning and career growth has been replaced with a laser-like focus on production goals and numbers above all else... including employee's well being. Writers, editors and managers are told to meet quotas or get out, even if that means working on weekends, holidays, or during mental health emergencies. Additionally I've become increasingly concerned with the company's borderline unethical employment practices. The company is in a bad place financially and the employees lowest on the power totem pole are bearing the brunt of the pain. Half of the quality team was laid off last month. Instead of making cuts that might garner more attention or cost more in severance payouts, the current leadership seems to managing out all but the highest performing employees using performance improvement plans and other tactics to force people to quit. People are not given enough assignments work on and then guilt tripped for not completing enough work. There is currently a hiring freeze, a salary freeze, and a moratorium on bonuses or cost of living increases. As senior level people leave their roles are not backfilled, creating a power vacuum, increased confusion and general chaos. At least a dozen writers have been operating with no manager at all for several months now. Employee concerns are not addressed, and feedback to leadership is often met with anger or gaslighting. While middle management works hard and genuinely cares about the employees, the members of the current leadership team are either checked out, unqualified, or power tripping. It give me no joy to say this, as I genuinely enjoyed at least part of my time employed here, but I cannot in good conscious recommend anyone accept a job here. If you accept a job here you are signing up to work for a very expensive content mill.Continue reading
- Former Employee★★★★★Nov 16, 2022 - Content Marketing Manager in New York, NYRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Flexible hours, wonderful co-workers and supervisors. Real people with real compassion.
Clients were ... a challenge.
- Current Employee, more than 1 year★★★★★Nov 4, 2022 - Content Marketing ManagerRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Excellent team full of very smart and experienced content marketers. Very supportive colleagues and management.
Typical agency stuff. Working with clients can be very hectic and stressful, especially when deadlines and quotas are thrown into the mix.Continue reading
- Former Employee, more than 1 year★★★★★Nov 2, 2022 - Content ManagerRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
Tara the CEO is exceptional Good work/life balance Great people Good opportunities to work with really impressive clients
Very high stress CMs burn out & not enough is being done to fix it
- Former Employee, less than 1 year★★★★★Sep 30, 2022 - Content ManagerRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
You'll work with talented content folks who can help you level up your career.
The first thing I'd say is take these reviews seriously (If I did, I wouldn't have worked here). Animalz truly doesn't care about its people. The company is a mess and leadership doesn't mind sacrificing EVERYTHING to please customers and make profit. Internal systems do not exist. Leadership doesn't think through decisions enough before putting them out. So there're too many iterations along the way. For creative work, this isn't fair or productive. Also, you'll burn out and no one would care. Rather, they'll blame you for not being able to manage your workload. The vacation policy only exists on paper and you'd never be able to take enough time off to recharge. No one factors in the time and mental energy it takes to create high-quality content , so forget about doing your best work. The only way to survive is to churn out subpar pieces and hope customers do not notice or aren't ticked off enough to leave.Continue reading
- Former Employee, more than 1 year★★★★★Sep 28, 2022 - Content Marketing ManagerRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
The Content Marketers are a really hard working group. Your teammates are amazing. You get to basically work when you want to, where you want to, how you want to. I guess that is the perk to bring a globally remote business.
A separation exists between leadership and the place the work is being done. It has been addressed but because the entire leadership team basically turned over in 2022- there are new leaders trying to step up and join hands with those folx that are on the ground working. I would continue to encourage this,Continue reading
- Current Employee, more than 1 year★★★★★Sep 27, 2022 - Anonymous EmployeeRecommendCEO ApprovalBusiness Outlook
You'll be surrounded by people who care about content marketing and writing. You'll be working on a 100% remote team, so you have flexible hours.
The company grew too fast and is still catching up on defining roles and developing processes-- as a result, quality and communication suffered and customers are churning in droves. The cobbled-together internal systems are breaking and you'll spend a lot of time troubleshooting. There's no investment in ongoing training and development beyond employee onboarding and senior leadership takes a top-down approach to problem-solving instead of bringing in the voices of people on the ground. All the teams work in their own siloes and it's rare to see transparency and collaboration across teams. The goalposts of what it takes to advance in your career are constantly shifting. All of this adds up to burnout.Continue reading
Animalz Reviews FAQs
Animalz has an overall rating of 3.4 out of 5, based on over 54 reviews left anonymously by employees. 48% of employees would recommend working at Animalz to a friend and 47% have a positive outlook for the business. This rating has decreased by -10% over the last 12 months.
48% of Animalz employees would recommend working there to a friend based on Glassdoor reviews. Employees also rated Animalz 3.1 out of 5 for work life balance, 3.2 for culture and values and 3.3 for career opportunities.