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Starcom USA Reviews

28 reviews

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Starcom USA CEO Lisa Donohue
Lisa Donohue
8 Ratings

28 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Depending on the team, the work life balance can be hard to obtain (in 31 reviews)

  • Long hours - Never saying no to clients means working to turn things around in a crunch (in 31 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great Experience - Difficult Work Life"

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

    I worked at Starcom USA full-time

    Pros

    A lot of learning opportunities available if you take advantage of them

    Cons

    Communication between teams is non-existent which hinders everyone's ability to complete task well/on-time

    Advice to Management

    Focus on bringing up your lower-tier clients to the level of your top-tier clients


  2. "Good people, great place to start"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Starcom USA full-time

    Pros

    Learned a ton and afforded opportunity and responsibility

    Cons

    Did not understand direction for future growth

    Advice to Management

    Level with employees especially the young ones


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Typical large agency"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Starcom USA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Historically excellent client roster
    - Unbelievable amount of time off (10 flex days per year + sick days + your negotiated vacation days)
    - Software tools and overall commitment to tech is there in attitude, and for the most part comes through in execution
    - Online portal has a plethora of useful information, although difficult to navigate
    - NY is a satellite office (a pro & a con) so the people are sort of close knit with each other within each account
    - Senior management tries to create culture with various initiatives

    Cons

    - The bureaucracy around moving within SMG, compensation, promotions, or basically anything administrative related is killing this company. The attitudes of certain individuals makes things worse and drives talented people to competing agencies.
    - Office space is ancient, which is a head-scratcher as every other major agency has updated their physical environments in the past several years or are in the process of doing so.
    - NY is a satellite office (a pro & a con) and so there is nearly no exposure to any senior management personnel save for quarterly/semi-annual telecasts from the CEO. Names are mentioned during these meetings with the assumption that everyone in NY knows who these people are - this is a HUGE cognitive dissonance by any visiting member from Chicago and hurts morale.
    - Pre-2000s management philosophy. You don't put a freeze on raises during a time of brain drain. You invest MORE into the select talent so you don't go down further into the hole, long term. It's truly mind boggling...
    - Overall, the current morale at the agency is at an all time low with huge account losses / on-going reviews. The fact that a lot of the office is very outdated, a freeze on compensation, lack of mobility due to bureaucracy, and ongoing cognitive dissonance of senior management from Chicago isn't being address is very troubling for the long term outlook of a once #1 agency...

    Advice to Management

    Become more nimble, especially in regards to talent management. This whole thing with Finance in Paris is literally draining the company of talent, and I believe is one of the macro reasons while SMG is losing clients


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Poor staffing makes Starcom a sweatshop"

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

    I have been working at Starcom USA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You learn a lot about media and marketing in a short time
    You work on some of the biggest brands in the world
    It's good experience for your resume
    Really good at TV planning/buying, and you get a lot of swag

    Cons

    It's common to work 12 hour days and weekends
    Half the staff is missing on accounts, so you do 2-3 peoples jobs
    When new clients come onboard, one person has to do everything for 3 months before Starcom partially staffs it
    Not very creative. It's about efficient audience buying and not taking risks
    Starcom doesn't know how to retain talent. Everyone leaves after a year or two
    Most digital media plans are cookie cutter based on comScore ratings

    Advice to Management

    Focus on nurturing talent - all the good people leave as soon as they can. You're too addicted to TV money - get with digital or get stronger digital leadership. Maybe management should spin off the digital/analytics/search/social/programmatic stuff into a new agency, so people can learn in depth. Right now, they do some much across all digital media disciplines, I don't think anyone is really strong. It's good for planning, but not execution of campaigns. Put more emphasis on new biz - There's been too many losses.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Taking a turn for the worse."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Starcom USA full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Decent vacation, coffee, beer.... nothing ground breaking

    Cons

    Low compensation, lack of thought leadership, directors making employment decisions on who they socialize with outside of work and not who produces results. Management will not terminate directors that are poisoning clients with poor decision-msking

    Advice to Management

    Physician, heal thyself. A series of bad decisions in promoting to director level has been crippling the agency for years. No one wants to speed the energy to fight and clean up the cesspool. HR protects the underperformers while the quality workers move to greener pastures instead of wasting time on the losing battle.


  7. "Come for the experience; leave with your expertise"

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

    Pros

    You will learn a lot so long as you're on the right team and product. Lots of emphasis on digital, especially in the programmatic space.

    Cons

    Restructuring has left the company inefficient. Little faith that the company will grow so long as they keep this up. Also, the pay is terrible compared to your market value.


  8. "Assoc Director"

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

    I worked at Starcom USA full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    good place for first job out of college.

    Cons

    limited work life balance. Clients less focused on big ideas and more focused on efficiencies and impressions. Programmatic will change the face of the way business is done

    Advice to Management

    Company needs to be more focused on the people. It's more about meeting numbers than staffing appropriately and ensuring employees are happy. Work life balance is an issue.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Media Associate"

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Fun culture and really easy work

    Cons

    TERRIBLE pay, horrible work-life balance (depending on team), Lack of forward thinking, all "re-structures" cater to the image of the company instead of improving day to day function, lack of upward mobility - revolving door of employees (mostly d/t low pay and work/life balance)

    Advice to Management

    Decrease number of employees and increase salaries - people would take their work more seriously if they were properly compensated for their time/efforts.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Started off as a great experience..."

    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 Starcom USA full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Great experience to learn how a big agency functions
    - Access to a ton of resources and tools
    - Team members (well some anyway) are very helpful
    - Free drinks and snacks

    Cons

    - Upper management treats Associates and Temps terribly for really no reason
    - High turnover
    - Pay is awful for the amount of work people put into projects
    - This depends on what account you're on but the work-life balance can be awful
    - Upper management really do not know what they're doing sometimes

    Advice to Management

    - As most reviews on here say, I believe it would be wise for the company to actually invest in its workers. This would decrease the turnover rate and provide a more clear career path. I noticed that people, including myself, get trained fairly well and then leave for much better opportunities.

    - Promote people to higher level positions based on performance and not style or office politics. Most of my supervisors really did not know what they were doing most of the time during big projects and it was stressful.

    - Judging from my conversations with employees from other sister agencies such as Zenith, Spark, and etc., Publicis Groupe in general needs to treat their workers like actual people and not sheep.


  11. "High turnover for a reason"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Junior Associate
    Former Employee - Junior Associate
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Starcom USA full-time

    Pros

    not much except you get some experience to put on your resume, solid company but run poorly, can easily consolidate certain positions but too much back and forth going on, fun work environment very relaxed at times, daily ups and downs

    Cons

    completely micro managed, no organizational structure, outdated systems, need to implement new operational standards, low compensation, lot of know-it-all people



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