DDB Chicago Reviews | Glassdoor

DDB Chicago Reviews

Updated September 1, 2017
61 reviews

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3.2
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Paul Gunning
23 Ratings

61 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Nice people, amazing location, super fun clients, and all the upper management were so helpful when helping the interns (in 7 reviews)

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

Cons
  • Lay off after lay offs while upper management kept being promoted and (in 5 reviews)

  • Handled agency lay-offs HORRIBLY, which created a lot of fear in the agency and a very negative culture (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great camaradie."

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

    I worked at DDB Chicago full-time

    Pros

    I loved my team at DDB Chicago - one of the best I've ever worked with. The work was challenging but fun.

    Cons

    The pay. Below industry standards.

    Advice to Management

    Pay well and keep your good folks.


  2. "Great place back in the '90s and '00s"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at DDB Chicago full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Used to have a terrific corporate culture -- really cared about the employees and the quality of work. They made you want to do your best

    Cons

    Things really went downhill after the original old guard left. New management was only concerned with making money (mostly for themselves) and trying to be a "hot" agency -- which they never could accomplish. Lay off after lay offs while upper management kept being promoted and . Not unique to DDB Chicago at that time, but still sad to witness. So many people with real heart and soul who were purged so that fresh new ideas (which never did succeed) could be introduced.

    Advice to Management

    Figure a way to get back to your roots and give people a place they are proud to say they work at. So many of us who got let go were happy to leave a sinking ship.

  3. "Up and Down"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at DDB Chicago full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Wonderful people on day to day projects, smart and talented designers and producers. Robust client roster.

    Cons

    Frequent turnover. Not much mentoring. Antiquated flexibility in the workplace.


  4. "Good starter agency"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.)


  5. "Not horrible"

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

    I worked at DDB Chicago full-time

    Pros

    Overall pretty good culture, cross pollination between accounts, team building efforts, happy hours

    Cons

    Overly managed, WAY too many layers of middle management, and some of the upper managements have no business overseeing those particular facets

    Advice to Management

    Keep it simple, keep it a bit more streamlined.


  6. "great for now"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  7. "Great Views!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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?

  8. "Continue to Adapt"

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

    Pros

    Great environment and recognizes good talent.

    Cons

    Split culture between internal departments

    Advice to Management

    Don't hold on to what used to work in advertising. The landscape will always be changing.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Deceptive and Coercive"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  10. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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


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