Leo Burnett Reviews | Glassdoor

Leo Burnett Reviews

Updated February 13, 2017
409 reviews

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3.6
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Leo Burnett Chairman and CEO Tom Bernardin
Tom Bernardin
171 Ratings

409 Employee Reviews

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  1. "A very good place to work"

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

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

    Pros

    Great people, work hard, play hard environment

    Cons

    Inconsistent performance assessments and promotions

    Advice to Management

    Figure out what the agency philosophy/identity is


  2. Helpful (3)

    "A tough 2016 but 2017 is off to a good start"

    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 Leo Burnett full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Leadership team consists of great human beings, resulting in great culture. They respect and care about their employees. Can't say the same for some other ad agencies.
    - Good benefits and vacation policies.
    - Smart and nice people to work with.
    - Good learning opportunities.
    - Big brand clients with opportunities to work on some major campaigns.
    - Award-winning teams.
    - The Breakfast.

    Cons

    - Unsure of the relationship with holding company, Publicis Groupe.
    - Several clients in "traditional" industries that are losing market share. Would be nice to work on some other clients that are winning in the marketplace.
    - A little behind in terms of data-driven, digital expertise and resources.
    - Financial situation across Publicis Groupe hasn't been great, affecting promotions and raises.


  3. "Assistant Account Executive"

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

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

    Pros

    Fantastic people, semi-decent culture, have you heard of The Breakfast?

    Cons

    This is not the best agency in the business. Management is super old-school and the culture is incredibly outdated. Leadership is very disconnected with what is going on at the day-to-day level and is not interested in retaining talent.

    Advice to Management

    Get with the times and focus on your people.


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  5. ""It's not the only game... but it may be the best game in town.""

    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
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Leo Burnett full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Work/Life Balance - ...Even for some of the creatives.
    People - Brilliant, creative, fun people who, even if they aren't engaged by their daily work, have fascinating interests and side hustles. If you're on a happier, healthier team, you'll probably want to be best friends with your colleagues.
    Clients - If your book doesn't matter, you can definitely boast about working on some of the most high profile clients in the world. On the other hand, clients and agency tend to be conservative and old fashioned -- we're not putting out the most innovative work by a long shot.
    Perks - Summer days, a wonderful private gym, gorgeous offices with stunning views, solid health insurance, lots of catered meals, insane parties, PTO for volunteering.
    Pro Bono - Great pro bono opportunities... if you can find your way to them through the organizational mess.
    LBU - Leo Burnett University has some great professional development opportunities. I took a public speaking and presentation class that literally changed my life.

    Cons

    Bureaucratic Disaster - The organization is so beyond bloated that it's impossible to change clients, pivot roles, or grow immensely in any respect, which leads me to...
    Talent - Almost no chance to grow one's career by staying in the agency. Between the worst talent management (talent manager for strategy, I'm looking at you) I've ever encountered, near constant hiring freezes, and insane organizational politics, getting a promotion or raise is almost unheard of. You really have to advocate for yourself and have strong allies in this organization... and, if you do push for what you want, you'll make enemies. The people who should support your career development - managers, functional team heads - rarely do.
    Holding Company Relationship - ...Makes also zero sense. As far as I can tell, having to pass everything through Paris merely slows already frustratingly long internal processes. Holding company doesn't do much to foster unity and collaboration across partner agencies and competencies either.
    Lack of Vision - Especially with the heavily shifting leadership of late. North America and Chicago leadership parades out a new set of buzzwords and hash tags every few years to guide and inspire the organization, but they don't get disseminated to the people who execute. LB does not walk its talk.
    Rogue Regional Offices - The lack of a vision and mission coming from HQ filters down to regional and international level, which is deeply dysfunctional, disorganized, and the opposite of buttoned-up.
    Out of Touch Leadership - Management -- on client team and functional levels -- is rarely aware of the pain points of those in the trenches. When entry and mid level employees approach management to try to make changes and improve processes, they're frequently lashed out at as the source of these issues or downright disregarded.
    High Turnover - I mean, it's an agency. 'Nuff said. And there's no way to get ahead by staying there.
    Misleading Perks - Reading about organizational initiatives (global mobility, volunteer work, employee orgs, training opportunities, etc.) it's easy to get excited about LB. In actuality, getting to take advantage of these perks is a lot harder than it should be and many rarely come to fruition for any employees.

    Oh, and the Chicago office has the world's worst coffee.

    Advice to Management

    Spend more time in the trenches to get a better understanding of where your business actually is and how your employees and clients actually feel. Stop casting such a wide net in terms of service offerings and grow the competencies the agency is known for. Improve partner agency relations. Invest in your good employees so that they don't keep leaving and cut the fat from the upper levels. Set agency-wide goals and initiatives that are achievable and make a difference - not just lip service. (#reverseforkindless, lol) Keep fostering a culture of creativity and congeniality - but actually walk your talk. Improve the coffee.


  6. "Good place to start"

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

    I worked at Leo Burnett (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great name and brand + smart people

    Cons

    Lots of good creative ideas got killed

    Advice to Management

    Empower the young talent who wants to do things outside of the norm, or they'll leave to do it elsewhere


  7. "SAE"

    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

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

    Pros

    The large agency scale is great for many reasons; benefits, competitive pay, technology equipment, environment, and tech support

    Cons

    The large agency scale is not so great for some reasons - huge creative team egos, difficulty to get billing approved, expenses, booking rooms for meetings

    Advice to Management

    Continue to promote good people from within and award good, persistent, growing members of the team.


  8. "Senior Finacial Analyst"

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

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

    Pros

    Large company, good work life balance, laid back atmosphere.

    Cons

    Its difficult to advance, transition to SAP


  9. "Loved the Company but not my tasks"

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

    Pros

    Company perks, such as discount gym membership and on-site company events

    Cons

    The only downside is, I personally did not like the tasks within my role. Not challenging for me.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Big company about to become bigger (but not in a good way)"

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

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

    Pros

    - first off, it's what you make of it. There will be those who love Leo Burentt Chicago (with reason). Likewise, there will be those who hate it (with reason). I spent six years there and had a mixed bag, but am happy with what it lead me to.
    - smart, nice people (in general)
    - can have comfortable work hours or be crazy depending on what you want
    - big name clients (although other big ones have left in recent years)
    - top management is trying to become more with the people (physically changed offices to be on the floors with those who do the work)
    - recognize they need to change to fit today's ad world (but is it too late?)
    - management seems to be fairly open and has agency wide meetings to discuss big happenings
    - known for "The Breakfast" (its annual over-the-top Christmas party. It's great if you're young, those who have been around a while may prefer a Christmas bonus instead (my sample size for asking that question to fellow employees is fairly small, but I'm confident if they were to actually ask that question, they'd have to strongly consider dropping the breakfast)

    Cons

    - huge company that is slow to adapt and it may be too late to even adapt at this point (I don't want to say they're doomed - success at ad agencies is often cyclical, but unless they get smaller, I don't see good things happening)
    - Publicis (the holding company) is having much more influence on the agency with its "Power of One" philosophy which is (in my opinion) the opposite of what needs to happen. Publicis overall is now running major pitches and using all-stars from around the world as well as their top management to do the work. This results in people who won't be doing the day-to-day work pitching the business and confusing the client.
    - far too much emphasis on awards and not on work that sells the product. It is advertising - not art. And to pretend it's art is folly.
    - very hard to move up within the company. Leo Burnett is top heavy (that's in the process of changing as more and more people are leaving and layoffs are around the corner)
    - agency management needs to recognize those who actually do the work and prepare to promote young talent from within rather than handing everything to those who have been around forever and are more interested in maintaining the status quo and their jobs than shaking things up.

    Advice to Management

    - get smaller before you get bigger (although Publicis makes that call, not you - and that's the main problem)
    - buy yourself back from Publicis or prepare to take Leo's name off the door because if you can't do that, Leo Burnett Chicago is going to be "Publicis Chicago" in the next five years.


  11. "Exciting and fast paced!"

    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
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Leo Burnett (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Learnt lots about the advertising industry, from brainstorming to presentations. Staff is great, most of them are more than willing to help you with work!

    Cons

    If you can't handle tight deadlines then this company isn't for you, but the same goes for most advertising agencies.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work; CEO engages with interns as well!



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