CDM Reviews | Glassdoor

CDM Reviews

Updated June 28, 2017
180 reviews

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180 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The people are for the most part nice to work with and depending on the team a good work life balance (in 8 reviews)

  • Great people who get the job done is a heavy regulated market (in 14 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "In transition"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Tier II Support Specialist in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Tier II Support Specialist in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great company, employees share enthusiasm and love for the craft.

    Cons

    Transitioning due to the migration of all Omnicom companies. SOP and process changing. Some budget cuts are being made.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Post-Transition"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Client Services Team in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Client Services Team in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great employee atmosphere
    Great benefits - Vacation, health overall, 401k
    Majority of senior management care about the growth of the employees at the mid to entry-level tiers

    Cons

    Budget cuts - consolidating services at employee expense particularly for industry experience levels 3years or below
    Transitioned from a warm and welcoming/personal CDM independent "look & feel" to a cold and colorless open floor plan with cheap office materials and resources that screams sales cold-calling center
    Lack of opportunities - While a majority of senior management seem to care about the growth of those at the mid to lower levels - issues and voice-opinions are not being addressed and instead either overlooked or disregarded

    Advice to Management

    1. Investing in employee happiness across the board will in turn generate the client love (revenue growth) you seek

  3. Helpful (15)

    "Losing the thread"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Creative in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Creative in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at CDM full-time

    Pros

    Strong culture and formerly strong emphasis on developing people.

    Cons

    Has transformed into the worst kind of sweatshop agency. Long, LONG hours for clients whose expectations are poorly managed. Creative leadership is ossified so that only those who "grew up" within CDM and within the right cliques advance at a pace commensurate with their talents and achievements. Efforts by leadership to engage with the rank and file feel contrived and phony.

    The Los Angeles office was sunk by poor leadership decisions, beginning with the top brass in NYC, that were made as a result of the aforementioned situation. The imperative to "run lean" also contributed, so beware when thinking of joining an Omnicom-owned agency. They demand blood from stones in the form of black ink in the ledger every single quarter no matter what. Long-term visions are dimmed by short-term financial priorities.

    The CEO once told me that the secret to his success was realizing that management had to be a selfless act. Unfortunately, most of the senior leadership has either forgotten this or never learned how to apply it.

    Advice to Management

    Change the creative leadership and do not do it from within.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    People, culture, work/life balance for some

    Cons

    Compensation, learning/growth, lack of support

    Advice to Management

    Continue focusing on building employees and departments versus focusing on leadership and senior level team


  5. Helpful (9)

    "Don't be fooled by the veneer"

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

    Pros

    People are encouraged to be nice, respectful
    Office was generally quiet, calm at least in the old office layout before they removed the offices / cubes in lieu of "open seating".

    Cons

    Here's the real problem: despite making every effort to appear to be this awesome place to work, they lack the foundation to give stable employment to most "employees". They take on advertising projects on unpredictable timelines, without the necessary staffing, that ebb and flow greatly (recently ebbing more), creating situations for hard-working employees.

    They have long since tried to hire "freelancers" to avoid laying off employees when the work ebbs, but more recently I saw the ugly side of them willing to "hire" people "full-time" for short durations just to get short-term project needs met, followed by large layoffs. They also off-shored the entire client technology team -- so much for being a "digitally savvy" agency.

    Don't be fooled by comments that report a "nice environment" and "good salaries"...the "jobs" here won't last, especially the higher paying ones. And while it does last, be prepared for those situations where they pile on the work without the necessary resources, planning, etc.

    Advice to Management

    Try to make promises you can keep when you consider "hiring" people if you want to build a better foundation for employee trust.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Great experience, but don't stay too long"

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

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

    Pros

    Great agency in terms of talent, clients, and experience.

    Cons

    Promotions are given to rarely. Lack of incentive.

    Advice to Management

    Since the turnover in this industry is so quick, you need to incentivize you're employees to stay longer than 2 years. Create more frequent, smaller rewards and promotions.


  7. Helpful (20)

    "Going Clear at CDM"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Chief Observation Officer (Digital) in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Chief Observation Officer (Digital) in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The best coffee, without a doubt. No expense spared with the multiple Jura coffee machines that are available throughout the space. Stunning photos of all of the partners adorn the walls so you'll always remember who the partners are. So considerate, and humble.

    Cons

    It was my first town hall meeting at CDM after working there for a few months as a VP in the "creative" department, and I was eager to hear the president speak to better understand exactly what it was I'd gotten myself into. I had been there long enough to experience first hand the inner circle and cliques of the creative directors and the air of superiority they proudly displayed to remind everyone who's not in the club, that they are in fact not in the club. On average, about 90% of the CDs at CDM had grown up in the creative department. That made for a large group of creatives who didn’t know what they didn’t know. I had witnessed first hand what happened to those who had the courage to leave on their own to try their skills at other shops. The great majority ended up crawling back home to the mother ship.

    The town hall was beginning. The president of CDM stepped onto a 6 foot diameter by 1 foot tall platform, which made him only about 2 inches taller than the average human. Pacing back and forth and holding the mic with what appeared to be a death grip, he touted the agency's achievements from the previous quarter, rambling on and on while throwing in some more self-congratulatory mumbo jumbo that bored me into a daydream. I found myself drifting and wondering about making better use of my talents at an agency that "gets it". A shop with creative leaders who weren't preoccupied with reassuring themselves of their "leadership" abilities by needing to refer to themselves as leaders every chance they got, as if repeating it over and over out loud somehow made it true. I wondered, if this is what it's like to belong to the Church of Scientology. Suddenly the president of CDM said something that snapped me out of my fantasy of Tom Cruise and I saving the world from an evil genius plotting to brainwash all clients everywhere to run nothing but banner ads. "You know, it takes a special kind of person to work here at CDM. We don't just hire anybody, so you should all consider yourselves special—part of the chosen few. But, (followed by a very deliberate and long pause) if it turns out you're not one of us, we'll find you, and you won't be here for long." Wait just a freakin' minute here. Did he really just say that out loud to the entire CDM staff, including HR, or did I imagine it? So as nonchalantly as possible, I turned to the people on either side of me and then behind me to check for reactions from my fellow co-workers. What I saw, scared the hell out of me. There were no reactions. None at all, as if everything was normal. Just blank, staring-into-space, open-mouthed expressionless faces mimicking the theater audience from the infamous Apple 1984 commercial. Clearly, it was too late for my fellow Scientologists. Luckily for me though, I hadn't drank from the CDM water cooler and I slipped out of there just in time, maintaining complete control of what truly belonged to me. My substance, style, conviction and grace. Not theirs. But most of all I left with my soul, dignity and free will.

    Here's the deal with CDM. It's a nice place to work if you're just starting out, have no sense of purpose or you're ready to join that cult you've always dreamed of. CDM will be there, ready and willing to mold you into the exact likeness of it's very creepy self. But, if you happen to be an independent thinker who's firmly grounded in a belief system of what makes for great work based on your own proven history of success, you're going to offend, challenge (not in a good way) and make the nice, although misdirected folks over at CDM very uncomfortable. So think it over.

    If however you do choose to sign on that dotted line, then good luck to you. And whatever you do, don't drink the water.

    Advice to Management

    Keep on living the dream. You're an inspiration to your loyal followers.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great Agency, All Around"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Art Director in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Art Director in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Some of the most creative and inspired people I've worked with in the industry. Each project is met with enthusiasm, and every ACD/CD will listen to any level creative. I've seen a junior level creative come up with what is now a campaign. CDM likes to promote from within, and it happens routinely. They really take care of their own.

    Cons

    Because the work is so great, the hours can reflect that. It's not super common, but I've become accustomed to at least one 12 hour day a week. More often than not, it's two.


  9. Helpful (13)

    "Poor leadership sunk L.A"

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

    Pros

    Great group of hard-working, like minded employees.
    Everyone jumped in and lent a hand when needed (except for upper management)
    Before "leadership" was in place, independent thinking was encouraged.
    Employees liked each other and were always doing things outside of work.

    Cons

    16 hour work days at least twice a week
    The 2 "leaders" lacked confidence. they were driven by fear and each client and staffing decision they made was a reflection of this.
    Management had no idea how to run a 30 person office and insisted on turning to the NY office for everything.

    Advice to Management

    Find the people who thought it would be great to have 2 "leaders" with NO experience running an agency and have them FIRED! 30 people are out on the street because of this decision.


  10. Helpful (7)

    "Had great potential. Now a struggling collective."

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

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

    Pros

    Friendly co-workers and extremely hard-working people all around.

    Cons

    Creative leadership is nonexistent. Rough clients who demand generic work, and management does not fight for better work. No opportunities to produce award-winning work, and clients have lost faith. Morale is very low.

    Advice to Management

    Do not be scared of clients and think twice before presenting sub-par work. It will only keep hurting the agency's life and reputation.


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