Publicis North America Reviews | Glassdoor

Publicis North America Reviews

Updated September 28, 2017
79 reviews

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2.6
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Robin Koval
22 Ratings

79 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • nice people, big clients, free donuts (in 6 reviews)

  • Very friendly people and a wonderful place to learn the industry (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • No sense of culture, or respect for a work/life balance (in 6 reviews)

  • Team members treat lower-level employees with spite and disrespect (especially in pharma) (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Visual Designer"

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

    Pros

    Flexible hours, work from home

    Cons

    Late nights that can come up unexpectedly


  2. "Strategist"

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

    I have been working at Publicis North America full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great teams to work with, smart and diverse crowd

    Cons

    Large agency makes it hard for people to get noticed and easy for people to get away with very little work

    Advice to Management

    More internal growth opportunities, pay more attention to people.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "I'd look elsewhere"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Publicis North America full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Having worked at other agencies and hearing from friends at other agencies, the benefits at Publics are really comprehensive. Their PTO and holiday schedule is very generous and their healthcare rates are less than other agencies (half the $ than some other big agency holding companies). I also find them to be competitive in pay.

    Cons

    There really isn't much of a work culture. Having a happy hour twice a week attended only by a few is not "culture".

    The creative is pretty bad. This is a place where people go because they can't get jobs elsewhere or they're just apathetic. I've heard many people say "yeah I know it's not good but whatever it's a job". There's nothing inspiring good creatives to stay. They have a hard time distinguishing between people who are artistic (can make something look pretty) vs. people who are creative (can get to ideas that really enact change). Plus, the Marcel debacle has only further solidified the lack of any reason for a good creative to stay.

    There are a ton of people that shouldn't be where they're at. They have people barely allocated and yet rely on freelancers. The account teams for the accounts I've worked on seem to not want to rock the boat and just push passable ideas / creative. There is no desire to push creative beyond just status-quo and no structure or desire from mgmt to do so. And that's what Publicis will be... run of the mill status-quo. This will never be a Droga5 or Anomaly where they push their clients and build brands with strategic and creative ideas that welcome attention.

    The new office is nice but the location is not great and the open layout is, um, whack. It would be one thing if they actually enforced the "sit wherever policy" but people tend to gravitate to their own seats anyway. Plus, after about a year of being there, they took all the private cubicles away (leaving big gaping holes in their place) so there is no semblance of privacy anywhere.

    Advice to Management

    Work on company culture. Do this by…
    1. Invest in what high caliber employees want. Free crappy soda and crappy dunkin donuts every Friday won't do it. Find tastemakers to help curate what creative individuals want. Invest in nice things but don't just give the appearance of 'nice'. How about craft beer (you can still keep Heineken as well)? Maybe add Topo Chico to the fridges? Take pride in what you do and you'll find employees who take pride in their work.
    2. Have something you stand for that everyone in the agency can get behind. Read Big Spaceship's employee manual…this is how you stand for something as an Agency - in how you talk, in what you believe, and a having common approach to tackle client challenges.
    3. Encourage the rebels within your organization to shake things up. Too often they’re not empowered and yet they leave for shops where they're empowered and go on to do great things. Publicis' loss and another agency's gain.

    As someone else stated… “clean house” and build a team with people who are strategically and creatively driven. Reframe the conversations you have with clients and maybe you'll win a few pitches and keep the clients you have.


  4. "Embarrassing to have on a resume"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Publicis North America full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits.
    Major clients.
    Nice views.
    Friendly people.

    Cons

    Account is deeply afraid of clients, which screws everybody.
    The agency's work is so bland, it's embarrassing to have on your resume, let alone showing any campaigns in your portfolio.
    The flex/open layout can be maddening.

    Advice to Management

    Clean house.


  5. "Review of Publicis North America"

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

    I worked at Publicis North America full-time

    Pros

    Relaxed environment. Challenging opportunities. Fast Paced.

    Cons

    None that I can think of.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Toxic and Arrogant"

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

    I worked at Publicis North America full-time

    Pros

    The offices are gorgeous, everyone gets a Mac as their PC and comped cell phones (with a plan!).
    There are two coffee bars with good coffee that is affordable, and every Tues/Thurs there is free happy hour.
    You'll pay less for health insurance compared to other holding companies.

    Their new global CEO is an industry darling who has an interesting perspective on the future of the industry (even though it leads to slashes budgets and burn out).
    Publicis has managed to attract some top tier talent who are smart, driven, and provide the company with innovative tools.

    Cons

    However, Publicis hires mid-to-senior managers (account, strategy, creative) who don't understand or know how to properly use these new innovations.

    Publicis also does not hire or promote creatives or strategists that understand digital, embrace digital, or bother educating themselves in digital.
    This means the innovators are not respected, not properly leveraged, and eventually leave Publicis.
    All within 18-24 months of their start date.

    The agency culture is cutthroat.
    Many teams house bullies that tease other team members behind their backs or cheer for former teammates to fail.
    Favoritism runs rampant, favoring the lazy and arrogant.
    This place makes you a terrible person if you try to fit in in order to succeed.

    Also: lockers.

    Advice to Management

    Get over yourselves and stop trying to persuade yourselves that you are a hot shop when in fact everyone is well-aware of the mass exodus due to culture issues and you are openly mocked at massive industry events.


  7. "Bad Management and Unwelcoming Environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Publicis North America full-time

    Pros

    The company has great clients and alot of history and capabilities in the industry as well as access to multiple departments in house from which to learn from.

    Cons

    There is a lack of structure and transparency across the agency and this leads to a lack of opportunity. There is zero management from personal experience, worked for over a year without a manager and I was overseeing work and senior clients without support, or direction. The learning opportunities are limited. There was zero career growth goals set nor evaluation, I never had a1-1 scheduled with HR nor a manager, as I was not assigned a direct report and had zero mentorship. Management will always place clients above their own teams needs, which includes blatant clients disrespecting team members and breaches of privacy. The culture can be unwelcoming, especially if you are of a different background, and people ignore you and ostracize you.

  8. "Account Supervisor"

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

    I have been working at Publicis North America full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Good people
    - Great creative work
    - Healthcare package is good (but on the pricier side)

    Cons

    - Raise freeze, hiring freeze, and even technology freeze for over an year and ongoing
    - Groups with less visibility, i.e. healthcare, often gets the short end of the stick because they are not the 'sexy' brands
    - Performance reviews do not yield to anything, not raises/training/firings
    - Very stringent process when it comes to firings and layoffs
    - Little to no head room to grow
    - High turnover but very slow moving when it comes to replacing vacancies

    Advice to Management

    - Start investing in your employees; look at them as talents, not a line item on a spreadsheet
    - Compensate those that have received top performance reviews fairly and regularly, and not just giving raises to those that work on the high-profile brands


  9. Helpful (3)

    "They work you til you burn out and cut the weak ones quickly"

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

    I worked at Publicis North America full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The new office space is nice. Some account teams are very friendly. Employees from specialty departments are very gregarious and helpful.

    Cons

    There is no training and a terrible place to start for entry-level employees. Expectations are extremely high and you will work late most nights. Team members treat lower-level employees with spite and disrespect (especially in pharma). In your evaluations, you will always be compared to well-liked and well-seasoned employees. It's 100% a game of politics. If your supervisor/director enjoys your company, you will stay longer. HR will not help you with any situation. Most are unhappy with their jobs and majority leaves in under a year. Promotions are extremely slow, and employees are over-promised raises that don't come. Ridiculous they had a pay freeze and hiring freeze for over 8 months. Typical barbaric ad agency story here.

    Advice to Management

    Train your employees if you want them to succeed. You make enough money as an agency with these high-budgeted accounts. Know how to manage your agency.


  10. "Freelance Art Director"

    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

    Pros

    Great Work, Big Clients. Excellent location. Lots of free food. Company parties are super killer.

    Cons

    If you're not with the "Cool Kids" circle, then chances are you're not working on the cool clients unfortunately.

    Advice to Management

    provide more opportunity to the associate creatives if you dont want them to leave you.


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