DDB Chicago Reviews in Chicago, IL | Glassdoor

DDB Chicago Chicago Reviews

Updated June 7, 2017
40 reviews

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Chicago, IL Area

3.1
Star Star Star Star Star
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Paul Gunning
15 Ratings

40 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • They believe in hiring NICE people (in 6 reviews)

  • Decent work/life balance for an agency (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • It felt like the office wasn't winning new business, but hiring a lot (in 4 reviews)

  • No new business wins for YEARS meaning they really don't have their act together but you wouldn't be able to tell by the way upper management ego acts (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "great for now"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    This is truly one of the most youth-friendly cultures I've ever worked in. Your experience matters, but not as much as whether you work hard and produce great work on a consistent basis. Account and creative directors are willing to give anyone a shot, and genuinely want to help people learn during their time there. Creative management shields more junior employees from a lot of the politics and pitches work anonymously, which gives everyone a fair shot.

    Cons

    Depending on which client you're assigned to, the quality and consistency of work can vary, but that happens everywhere. Because of junior-level employee's remove from politics and upper management, it can make it difficult to get an honest assessment of your work or get something to change. They do seem to take advantage of their interns, but honestly, that's everywhere.

    Advice to Management

    Your staff is super talented and dedicated to making great work - consistently push for the best product possible. Be careful not to burn people out on too many thankless projects.


  2. "Good starter agency"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Account in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Size, decent client roster, good city location. Decent work/life balance for an agency. A good place to start early in your career for experience and resume building. But you'll have to manage you own career path (ie: move on).

    Cons

    A bit antiqued in talent, office environment and old-school thinking. Boys-club. Need better leadership with true interest in the people and transparency. Old-school hierarchy (top heavy) of accounts and poor annual review process. No path for growth and "managers" show little interest or power in having influencer to promote people. Handled agency lay-offs HORRIBLY, which created a lot of fear in the agency and a very negative culture. CEO is cocky, and never remembers your name - acts like the president of a frat inside of a leader. Events were rather stale - cold nacho cheese to celebrate the Cubs (fail.)


  3. "Great Views!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Director in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at DDB Chicago (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The office is located in a really nice building close to everything. Great brands, nice environment. Folks who worked there seemed really happy and lots of long term employees as well as young guns.

    Cons

    It felt like the office wasn't winning new business, but hiring a lot....lots of turnover. But that's the ad biz, right?


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Deceptive and Coercive"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Some interesting clients and an attractive facade. A certain minority of people with genuine skill and experience. Scattered moments of success and accomplishment.

    Cons

    Incredibly junior staff in key positions, too few talented mid career employees
    Deceptive management and an ungodly amount of cliques and backstabbing
    So much with leadership is just talk without any action
    No follow up on process or policy changes.
    Really weak PMO structure that no one backs up.
    Account teams often have no idea what they are speaking about with clients and over promise
    Understanding of the Digital landscape is often just a feeble joke
    Unprofessional and ill equipped HR
    Little to no middle ground between passive aggressive sycophants and those shyly shuttling along in constant fear that their job is next to be cut.
    Laughably futile attempts at merging or co working with other offices.

    An incredible experience unlike anything else. The lapses in basic human decency were just befuddling and appalling.

    ‘Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error.’

    Advice to Management

    Strive to create a cultural foundation based on honesty and respect.


  5. "Great place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Incredible brands, people are fantastic, and management is really supportive

    Cons

    Work life balance - a lot of nights & weekends working


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Missing the mark"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at DDB Chicago full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Atmosphere, hard working employees, can-do attitude

    Cons

    Misogyny, back-stabbing, favoritism, creative short-cuts, Top Heavy Management who take the praise and do not do the work And I would give upper management a big fat thumbs down/no stars, but I can't.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of about 1/2 of your mid-to-upper level management who you DON"T need. Start rewarding those in the trenches who work the hours, do the work and are rarely praised or acknowledged. Too much back-slapping from heads of production, finance and digital who haven't touched a piece of work in YEARS except for their "pet pro-bono" projects.


  7. "Great Experience!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Launchpad in Chicago, IL
    Former Intern - Launchpad in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at DDB Chicago as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Honest about what the experience would be. Every single person there was beyond helpful to us. Great briefs, fun atmosphere.

    Cons

    The only con was them not having an opening when the internship ended. They still worked with me to find a job at another agency. I hope to be back someday soon though.

    Advice to Management

    Keep winning new business so you need to hire more juniors :)


  8. Helpful (3)

    "So much potential and talent gone"

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

    Pros

    Fun people, good accounts, decent level of creativity.

    Cons

    Under Omnicom thumb...stupid policies, red tape, bureaucracy...none of it allows the agency to do it's best work and serve it's clients to the fullest. Stop with this arrogance about DDB cornering the market on creativity as if other shops pale in comparison...they don't and it's an outdated way of thinking.

    Advice to Management

    Quit firing people every time an account is downsized or lost...there is a tremendous price to pay for this simpleton quick fix approach way beyond monetary concerns.


  9. "Love it here"

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

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

    Pros

    On any given day, this place can go toe to toe with the best of them.

    Cons

    No PR, need to invest more in proactive spec work.

    Advice to Management

    Keep at it.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "associate creative director"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - ACD in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - ACD in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good space - for an open floor plan. Friendly people overall. Big-stage accounts.

    Cons

    The vibe of leadership team is kind of cold. The bookkeeper has waaaay too much power.

    Advice to Management

    Big accounts are still driven by storytelling media. You need to stack back up again with skilled storytellers.


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