Aronson Advertising Reviews | Glassdoor

Aronson Advertising Reviews

Updated March 29, 2019
41 reviews

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  1. Helpful (9)

    "Great Career Opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Aronson Advertising full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Approachable and personable management team.
    - Fair salary compensation + potential for monthly bonus incentives.
    - Early out on Friday (4 PM).
    - Knowledgable employees with a trend towards the younger ages.

    Cons

    - Work can be overwhelming.
    - The Account Coordinators and Executives can be infuriating to work with sometimes.

    Advice to Management

    Keep AEs & ACs in check.


  2. Helpful (8)

    "5 stars for Best Workplace to be miserable."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Aronson Advertising full-time

    Pros

    401k, if you can stand it enough to stay there and accrue something.

    Cons

    This company is not worth the time to list them all, so just some highlights:
    - bounced pay checks, more than once. No direct deposit either.
    - rudeness prevalent. Example of HR people skills: A sign on the door of the HR office once said... (hyphenated word that cannot be repeated here) ... in reference to not disturbing the HR person inside. In fact, you'll be told you're rude from same on occasion when you're not.
    - Gaslighting from management on everything. Don't expect yourself and others to have a point, a promise kept, or that anything told to you will be recalled later on. It will always be your fault, amnesia will suddenly appear, or the subject will be dismissed, brought up later with a new spin. Expect to be in survival mode and hyper-vigilant. The focus of the efforts directed at you and others from the one above is to try to convince and reinforce to you that you are "inferior". Verbal beat downs occur often.
    - Stifleing atmosphere that does not foster or incubate creative thought. It gets snuffed out in the gaslight and negativity that is prevalent. The irony is that this business is an advertising agency.

  3. Helpful (15)

    "Please Find Any Another Place to Work"

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

    I have been working at Aronson Advertising full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you have zero industry experience, you could get your start here.

    Cons

    Before I begin, I'd like to say that I've withheld many problems, as they would identify me, putting my job in jeopardy. As long as this list ends up being, know full well that I could write one twice as long, with more personal and upsetting examples.

    I'd like to start with the cartoonishly selfish CEO. There are so many examples of his narrow-mindedness that it radiates throughout his entire company. It's sad to think that majority all of my grievances chalk up to him not wanting to pay for his employees to be happy. Here are some company-wide issues that stem from his selfishness:

    -No Work From Home, as he doesn't believe it works. This is because he is horribly old fashioned. He sits on a headset in his office with papers strewn all over... not a computer in sight. He thinks it's impossible to be productive at home because, in his computerless mind, you don't have the tools at home... but we totally do!
    -CEO constantly uses the loud, office-wide intercom instead of emails, because again, he doesn't use a computer...
    -Seriously, the owner of a Digital Ad agency doesn't use a computer, and has literally zero inkling of how the digital branch of his operation works.
    -FEMA announced a travel warning and we still had to come in to work. No matter if there are -30F temperatures or several inches of snow and counting, you are expected to come in. People have gotten into car accidents trying to avoid punishment from not showing up.
    -Never enough SOAP (!!!) or paper towels in the tiny bathrooms. There was a full week where the men's bathroom only had hand sanitizer... Disgusting.
    -The office is kept at unreasonably cold temperatures, as the owner prefers it - parading around in shorts and a t-shirt all winter. It genuinely took YEARS for them to do something about the temperature... Their solution? A few small space heaters for the whole office.
    -I can't emphasize enough how much we were gaslighted and told that the temperature was "fine" while people BROUGHT IN BLANKETS AND WERE WEARING GLOVES! They looked us in the face and said this, as multiple people were putting heaters under the desk while wearing scarfs indoors. THIS IS NOT HYPERBOLE.
    -No direct deposit
    -We have to clock in and out with a fingerprint scanner. He's constantly paranoid about employees "stealing time," so you better have a purpose/excuse every time you get out of your seat.
    -The CEO owns the building, and you'll see he could care less about things like grass growing through the break room floor, or the parking lot that constantly floods, or snow removal that pushes mounds of ice into handicap spots/front-row parking places, or broken microwaves, or dirty water filters, or... you get the idea.
    -Laughable compensation. Myself and other employees have been laughed at for requesting a raise. I have seen at least one employee get FIRED for asking for a raise.
    -Laughable insurance that definitely doesn't cover the therapist you will need.
    -401k that's mediocre-at-best, but the CEO will hold meeting about... Not to inform, but just to let you know how good it is and how grateful you should be for it.
    -30 minute lunch. Two 15 minute breaks.
    -You will only get major holidays off, and even then, you're expected to be gracious because you don't have to work New Year's Day.

    But of course, there's more than just that. Here are some non-CEO related issues:

    -Constant belittlement from upper management. They find nothing wrong with firing off some condescending over simple questions. I recall one employee didn't clean up a sink satisfactorily, prompting a company-wide email reminding us that Aronson didn't employ "plumbers or maids."
    -There is literally NO HR. Meanwhile, any minor issue can escalate into a fireable offense, so you genuinely feel helpless. Honestly, I'm worried that this review will get me fired. You'll see that other reviewers feel the same way.
    -I have been screamed at, and witnessed several other employees being screamed at. There were times I have felt both physically and emotionally threatened by my superiors. Tears shouldn't be shed at the workplace, let alone FREQUENTLY.
    -Constant payroll issues.

    Advice to Management

    It should have been obvious. Once I got the offer letter in Comic Sans, I should have ran far away and never looked back. Frankly, I think you're too far gone to help. My advice would be to look into a mirror and think about how you deeply affect dozens of people for the worse, every business day. Maybe then you will start to feel empathetic towards your employees and treating them with a semblance of dignity.


  4. Helpful (12)

    "Noy Worth it."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - SEO Specialist in Schaumburg, IL
    Former Employee - SEO Specialist in Schaumburg, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    SEO tools and practices are OK.

    Cons

    -Micro Management style. Manager sucks big time there

    Advice to Management

    Get your act together.


  5. Helpful (15)

    "THANK YOU, NEXT!"

    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

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

    Pros

    You will get paid a competitive salary if you can convince the hiring manager you know what you're doing.

    Cons

    The managers in my department were terrible. I always felt I like I was walking on eggshells in the office. If you want to be micro-managed and paranoid about losing your job, Aronson Advertising is the place for you. If you arrive at your desk even a minute late the managers will take note and call you out for it. It’s like high school all over again. The managers even designated a whole room for interrogating and intimidating employees that was known as “The Dark Room.”

    If you value your career and you want to work for a legitimate marketing agency don’t work here. If you need a job to feed your family and don’t have any other options I would recommend this company.

    Advice to Management

    Hire new management


  6. Helpful (16)

    "You are not a valuable member of this company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Digital
    Current Employee - Digital

    I have been working at Aronson Advertising full-time

    Pros

    Pros:
    -A paycheck
    -Lots of pizza parties to serve as a sort of morale defibrillator

    Cons

    Cons:
    -No work from home
    -No direct deposit
    -30-minute lunches you must clock in and out for
    -Forced to use personal days due to inclement weather
    -Unreliable time clock that causes long lines before and after work that was installed after constant paranoia by the owners about salaried employees “stealing time”
    -Illegally told by upper management you are not allowed to discuss your pay
    -Lost PTO days due to poor communication and planning by upper management
    -Department managers are horrible communicators, cancel meetings last minute, fail to show up for meetings, promise meetings and training sessions that never happen, without ever acknowledging or apologizing for wasting people’s time and leaving people in the dark
    -The health insurance has gone from bad to worse. No services are covered until you meet the incredibly high deductible, which has prevented employees from seeking out basic health care such as a therapist for the mental and emotional trauma workers face every single day.

    Morale in the Digital Department is very obviously at an all-time low and nothing has been done about it, nor do there seem to be any plans to do something in the foreseeable future. Aronson is growing at a rapid rate, so quickly in fact that everything seems months away from completely falling apart. Honestly everything wrong with Aronson comes from the owner. He is sickeningly old-school, and despite constant requests for basic conveniences such as direct deposit and WFH, it is blatantly obvious he does not care about making this an enjoyable place to work.

    Speaking up does nothing, upper management will pretend to be concerned, but nothing will ever change. They’ll make you empty promises to get you to keep quiet. There is little opportunity for any type of growth within the company, so don’t come here thinking you’ll ever get somewhere especially if you’re vocal about your opinions. There aren’t ant clear benchmarks for salary increases, and regardless of how hard you fight to be paid your market worth, the CEO won’t even come close to it.

    Advice to Management

    If you get hired here your best bet is to come and do your job, and go home. Caring about the BS that goes on every single day will do nothing but discourage and wear you down. Aronson is only good to get enough experience so you can move on to a real company run by someone with a moral compass.

    As for management, your employees are closer to their breaking point than you realize. I suggest major overhaul of policies, communication, and management tactics if you want even a chance to fix what’s been broken. Start with granting your employees the basic conveniences they deserve, and by paying them fairly.


  7. Helpful (17)

    "Risking retribution here"

    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

    I worked at Aronson Advertising full-time

    Pros

    None, unless you like to work for a poor man's imitation of Donald Trump

    Cons

    Name anything bad and you will be in the ballpark
    The owners management style is "ambush". If you wish to discuss an issue, present an idea, anything routine you will be put off with a "not now my time is too valuable for you" variety of messages . You may get to scheduled time to address it, but most likely not. Typically then, at a random time, possibly days later and without warning you will be summoned, hurried, no context given, allowed no time to prepare and then grilled harshly on a subject. Of course anything you say will be dismissed due to no proof! So the game goes. You may try later to make your point after retrieving notes/facts but the response will "What now? We already went though all that!" It is a Trumpian tactic designed merely to make him feel superior. It accomplishes nothing but cripple the people he relies on.

    Advice to Management

    Find a way to prevent the owner from coming in contact with the people who do the daily work (Coordinators, Art Dept, anyone). It ruins their day! Not to mention the lost productive time due to trying hard to figure out what happened, why they still work there, what they would like to do in return, rinse repeat!

  8. Helpful (14)

    "Scared"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Some nice people, convenient location.

    Cons

    Walk on eggshells,everyone walks around totally unhappy.... except management.

    Advice to Management

    Be nice!!!!


  9. Helpful (20)

    "You are dully warned"

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

    I worked at Aronson Advertising full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Abso none!!!!!!$$$ less than... below and completely unacceptable, none!!! Truth!

    Cons

    Abso everything imaginable. Crooks, thieves, morally bereft individuals!

    Advice to Management

    Just stop stealing, abusing, Lying and cheating!!!


  10. Helpful (15)

    "Things to Improve"

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

    I worked at Aronson Advertising full-time

    Pros

    You get early leave on Fridays, 8:30 - 5 pm regular hours, some pizza days and good experience if you're new to digital marketing. But if you have worked in the industry for some time and are joining the digital team, you've got a long, uphill road ahead of you with little room for growth.

    Don't expect a raise in the first year, although maybe in the second? You'll really have to battle tooth and nail for your wages because raises are not a natural progression at this company, even if you meet your goals.

    Company Package:
    - There's no direct deposit, you get written checks
    - Clock in/clock out using a pin code and a fingerprint. There's usually a large line at the end of the day
    - Health insurance was $250 per month per person last I looked, for a family plan it's $700+ if I remember correctly
    - You only get your 401k after 5 years with the company, and even then the annual match is limited to a dollar amount

    Cons

    There is a ton of oversight. None of the division managers have much managerial experience and leadership qualities are not something managers are promoted on. Not all great workers make great managers.

    I would like to bring up the time where the managerial situation was escalated and managers had asked everyone to review them. When employees finished writing the reviews, they were all promptly handed to the person who they were about. Don't just blindly give reviews back to the managers... this is the basis for THEIR review. This is basically managers giving themselves a review: 10/10 Great Work! (While all the major issues are swept under the rug.)
    What if the entire team hates the manager? I felt really bad for some of the teams because some of the managers are a total nightmare.

    The lack of guidance inevitably results in some managers taking on the responsibilities of the team and work with all of your clients while you grind out their workload. This isn't what management is. "Management is getting things done through people" - Mary Parker Folett

    Please, have your managers pick up management books and get into those discussions with them. What's good for the team? How can we, as managers, grow the skill set of our employees? How can we enable them to do great things and create that desire to do more for the company?

    Advice to Management

    I'm going to try to be realistic here to help resolve the situation for my friends that are still working at Aronson. If you want to retain your employees, you have to create an atmosphere where your employees are encouraged and motivated. Keep these in mind at all times. Free pizza and donuts aren't what people look for in a company, which means that you need to think of genuine ways of providing job satisfaction for your employees. Here's what you can do:

    - First and foremost, employee satisfaction means giving them raises when they meet their goals at the end of the year (maybe set a standard of 90% of the goals met). Isn't this the point of goals? Denying even a mere 3-5% raise after 1 year just tells an employee that they have no future at the company and they are not valued. I assure you that a 5% raise won't bankrupt the company bringing in a million a month.

     - Review your managers based on their team's feedback every 6 months. As managers, you have to grow too. Sales goals don't mean much to the employees - job satisfaction does. This is why the Glassdoor is filled with terrible reviews. Have employees submit feedback to senior management, and senior management will in turn have a review of that manager. This will serve as a way to improve the managerial skills of your staff and improve team morale.

    - Direct Deposit isn't as important as the other two, but this is silly. Any professional company with a good sales revenue and 50+ employees is offering direct deposit. I understand your loyalty to the company's current bank, but there's an alternative to the situation: just transfer the payroll funds into a different bank for payroll purposes and issue direct deposit. This will decrease the workload on HR's end and will increase job satisfaction. How much are you paying for your staff to put paychecks in envelopes and hand them out?

    - Another thing that is genuinely going to provide the employees with more job satisfaction is work from home days. Maybe something as minuscule as 1 day every month will still go a long way. All of the digital and art work can be done from home without a problem. Most of your competitors do this. For example, if someone gets sick - they can use this day to still work and not get everyone else sick. When an employee is sick and comes in, I can't imagine that their work performance is going to be 100% anyway, so the only thing you'll miss is a cold virus that everyone will inevitably get when the sick person comes into the office. PS. No one wants to take sick days if there are only 2. Maybe test 3 work from home days a year in a worst case scenario.

    - 401k payout after 5 years seems a little out of this world. The vast majority of the companies match a few percentage points after 1 year. Some of the bad ones after 2 years - but after 5?

    - Clock in/out has to go. If you know someone is not there for the hours they get paid for, pay them for the hours that they did put in. Put this in the contract... but don't punish the rest of the employees for someone else's crappy attendance.