GSW Marketing & Advertising Reviews | Glassdoor

GSW Marketing & Advertising Reviews

Updated June 30, 2018
127 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-timePart-time

2.9
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Sonja Foster-Storch
10 Ratings

127 Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

Pros
  • "There's generally an effort for work-life balance" (in 17 reviews)

  • "great and talented people to work with" (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • "high school clique atmosphere, frat like company culture" (in 6 reviews)

  • "Tied to a holding company with crappy benefits and HR policies" (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (5)

    "A new day at GSW NYC"

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

    I have been working at GSW Marketing & Advertising full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    -Awesome award-winning creative
    -Fusing with PALIO is bringing new culture, new leadership and new approaches
    -Commitment to cool pro-bono work
    -Office planned to right across from Chelsea Market (hooray lunch options!)
    -New leadership that is onsite, involved, and brings the small agency perspective that worked so well at PALIO

    Cons

    Change is always hard, but the teams are ready to make something new and great
    Challenges with working across two NYC locations at the moment

    Advice to Management

    Continue to keep people informed and involved in building the new company. Look ahead to new wins!

    GSW Marketing & Advertising Response

    Feb 24, 2018 – VP Human Resources

    Hey! Thanks for the awesome note and feedback! We are very excited about this evolution and it is good to hear that you are too. Please be sure to reach out to me or the leadership in New York to... More


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Ugh!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Westerville, OH
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Westerville, OH
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at GSW Marketing & Advertising full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Pay and being able to come in a little late, if necessary, without being scolded for showing up at 10am. And it is apparently really, really hard to get fired/laid off - unless it is because of budget constraints - but the people who should be let go (the ones who got us into the bad position) will keep their jobs.

    Cons

    Management: we are top heavy with people filling these positions who lack the qualifications and the desire to lead. They do what keeps them off their bosses radar but nothing more.

    Empty promises: people will be told what they may want to hear - but those things will never happen. Get used to feeling let down and disappointed.

    Poor communication: if you aren't part of the upper echelon, you can be sure of two things. 1. You won't be involved in anything that promotes growth (pitches). 2. You will have no clue what is going on. Truthfully.

    Unclear expectations: you'll get a review and it'll be sort of 360. Your direct manager won't actually give you feedback that is beneficial, especially if you want to better yourself. You'll get lots of surprises that were never brought to your attention previously. And if there isn't money or a position available for a promotion, you'll purposefully be graded lower (meets expectations) so you can't argue how you deserve a promotion (can only get a promotion if you exceed expectations). If you do want to know how to better yourself, you'll just get the run around. Because let's be honest, your supervisor probably doesn't care about you or your career to help you better yourself.

    Bad positioning: we are positioned as medical advertising agency when trying to get new business but we act like a general advertising agency in hiring, recruiting, and culturally. I guess this can be seen as a "pro" but if you want to be creative you can't because we are a medical advertising agency so there are so many regulations you can't really think outside of the box - if you want to be part of a scientific or medical community - this isn't the place because culturally there is more stock put into the creatives. It's a vicious cycle.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the middle management (VPs and directors) who are billing hours but not actually working for you.

    And allow for true 360 reviews. Let everyone review their managers (with anonymity).

    GSW Marketing & Advertising Response

    Jul 12, 2018 – VP Human Resources

    Hello. Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. We are always looking to better our organization and your comments can help us with that process. As you mentioned, 360 feedback is... More

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Solid place to build a career with typical agency challenges"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - VP-Technology in Newtown, PA
    Current Employee - VP-Technology in Newtown, PA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at GSW Marketing & Advertising full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The values and personalities are collaborative and supportive. There's generally an effort for work-life balance. Leadership wants the best for their people and plans accordingly.

    Cons

    There's the typical downsides to agency life: some projects will get away from you and demand extra time and effort. Work is fickle and can dry up quickly, or swamp you by coming in too fast. Corporate efforts stir things up and make difficulties.

    Advice to Management

    Keep focused on what really matters and do you best

    GSW Marketing & Advertising Response

    Jun 14, 2018 – VP Human Resources

    Hey! Thank you! We love to see such great comments and really appreciate you taking the time to post them. We know typical agency life can present challenges, but we believe the great people at GSW... More


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Mergers are not the only reason for record turnover"

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

    I worked at GSW Marketing & Advertising full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The office they are leaving are nice, spacious, and quiet.
    The salary ranges are on the upper end of average.
    There are some really creative people there.
    There is a purported value of collaborative work.

    Cons

    In NYC, they are moving to cramped, poorly lighted, louder office space.
    The management continues to hire more perfectionist managers who consider the work of their employees beneath them, even when overloaded.
    In my first two months there, almost the entire product management staff quit.
    In my next three months, an additional ten employees left, out of a staff of around 40, so close to 35% in 5 months.
    They shed 5 copywriters and 7 editors in that time as well.
    Several of the managers fire employees at the slightest difference in work style.
    The company continues to lose more and more clients, and the only replacements they've snagged are tiny or pro bono.
    There is almost zero job training, but burdensome tons of regulatory and ethics training.
    The staff is mostly freelancers, many working remotely (including PMs), and practically only the managers are staff, many with poorly defined responsibilities (no one there ever claimed to have a written job description, for example).
    The structure is too horizontal for any career growth.

    Advice to Management

    Evaluate your managers with a higher standard of employee retention, and stop claiming that record turnover is "just how the ad business is." It isn't.

    GSW Marketing & Advertising Response

    May 30, 2018 – VP Human Resources

    Hello. Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. We are always looking to better our organization and ensuring each person is set up for success. Hearing an individual’s thoughts is... More


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Associate Creative Director"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at GSW Marketing & Advertising full-time

    Pros

    Great compensation and global exposure to clients

    Cons

    Constantly changing management and ownership

    Advice to Management

    Advertising and marketing is about quality people on the team to service clients, not how to packag them up as a product for sale to the next owner.

    GSW Marketing & Advertising Response

    Apr 19, 2018 – VP Human Resources

    Hi! We appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. We couldn’t agree with you more about what makes a great agency – the people. The leadership team and I are always looking for feedback... More


  6. Helpful (5)

    "A creative agency that gets it"

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

    I have been working at GSW Marketing & Advertising full-time

    Pros

    - the work
    - the people
    - the merger with Palio
    - the potential to finally establish a nyc heart and soul to the place

    Cons

    - still doesn't have all the onsite resources you'd expect in an nyc agency cause of ties to Columbus

    Advice to Management

    Pu the pedal to the metal and go all the way in NY

    GSW Marketing & Advertising Response

    Mar 8, 2018 – VP Human Resources

    Hey! Thank you! We love to see such great comments and really appreciate you taking the time to post them. We are very excited about our opportunities moving forward. Please be sure to reach out to... More


  7. Helpful (6)

    "A dying agency"

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

    I have been working at GSW Marketing & Advertising full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Nice office space
    Kind and talented coworkers
    Leadership from new GSW CEO
    Family friendly events
    Work life balance is good

    Cons

    Losing business track record = no opportunities for growth
    Tied to a holding company with crappy benefits and HR policies
    Favoritism from the top down
    Lots of dated thinking and recycled ideas
    Leadership doesn't inspire, listen or ask questions

    Advice to Management

    Take the blinders off

    GSW Marketing & Advertising Response

    Mar 22, 2018 – VP Human Resources

    Hello. Thank you taking the time to share your thoughts. We appreciate the importance of listening and turning that feedback into action. We have great people at the agency and we want to give them... More

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Elevation..."

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

    I have been working at GSW Marketing & Advertising full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I work at the anchor agency, GSW-Columbus. The agency is in a state of evolution...because it's true you never want to stop evolving to be better (I don't want to ), and that's exactly what's happening here. There has been a focus on retaining the top talent as part of that. I'm someone who doesn't want to work with a bunch of suits (no offense to the suits out there) and wants to enjoy the people I work with. There are a lot of smart, intelligent, creative people cross-departmentally and cross agency. It makes it fun to come to work every day. There are a lot of talented people know for their art (even outside of the agency). That is celebrated here.

    Cons

    I don't know if I really have cons. Working in the healthcare advertising industry can be challenging because of FDA guidelines, working with healthcare companies' medical/legal/regulatory, but in a way, those things make the creative process more challenging, and makes the wins feel that much bigger. The agency has a lot of new and interesting accounts in-house (recent pitch wins) and has been doing some restructuring to be more efficient, nimble, and leverage expertise. There are those people that will always view change as negative...but those are those people! Onward and upward.

    Advice to Management

    My advice to Management is to keep the amazing momentum going here. You can feel a renewed energy in 2018 and more open dialogue, communication lately too. I would also say--check the nooks and crannies and create more one on one or small group organic dialogue with the non-obvious employees (management with middle level and junior level employees)...and keep popping by meetings--spontaneously to stay plugged in (I'm talking senior senior management here specifically--there are one or two that do, but let's keep breaking down the walls..er ceiling). There are a lot of passionate people that care..sometimes they may be harder to get to and recognize. Excited about the fun things happening in our building evolution as well. All part of the momentum.

    GSW Marketing & Advertising Response

    Feb 24, 2018 – VP Human Resources

    Hi! Thanks for taking the time to post such awesome comments! We are very excited about the momentum building in Columbus and the bright future ahead across all offices. Please be sure to reach out... More


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Great Team and atmosphere"

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

    I have been working at GSW Marketing & Advertising full-time

    Pros

    I've worked at GSW for almost 8 years and we have had ups and downs like any other ad agency. Currently there is a great team in place and new management cafes about the people and business.

    Cons

    The benefits could be better

    Advice to Management

    Keep moving forward the way you are today.

    GSW Marketing & Advertising Response

    Feb 24, 2018 – VP Human Resources

    Hey! Thank you for taking the time to share those great comments and the call-out on benefits. We are very excited about our opportunities moving forward. Please be sure to reach out to me or the... More


  10. Helpful (9)

    "AVOID"

    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

    I worked at GSW Marketing & Advertising full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I had some very talented and competent creative and account teammates, whom have since left

    Cons

    1. The NYC office now only has two brands. The office recently went under and merged with PALIO, so they're packing it up and moving downtown.
    2. Management is completely out of touch, have little understanding of the brands they manage and day to day process.
    3. Absolutely zero training of new employees. No one is properly onboarded to their teams, or taught anything about brand guidelines and process. In the last 5 months there has been a huge wave of resignations of competent senior employees, leading to a huge loss of expertise. Even simple projects are incompetently managed which leads to many late nights.
    4. The last I checked there are barely any people left at the office. Between lay-offs and resignations, the number of full-time employees is 1/3 of the number it was a year ago.

    Advice to Management

    Start from the ground up and rebuild your employee training and process. This is the only way you will win produce competent work and win new clients

    GSW Marketing & Advertising Response

    Feb 24, 2018 – VP Human Resources

    Hi. We appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts, specifically around training. That is a topic very important to me personally. We believe that our people are the best in the business... More


Showing 127 of 135 reviews
Reset Filters