TracyLocke Reviews | Glassdoor

TracyLocke Reviews

Updated November 9, 2017
105 reviews

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3.0
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Hugh Boyle
32 Ratings

105 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great people at the lower levels but they don't stay (in 14 reviews)

  • Work/life balance is good but like anywhere in this industry, there are spiked times of craziness (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • No work/life balance (more extreme than what is typical in this industry) (in 6 reviews)

  • Very long hours, not the best work/life balance (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at TracyLocke full-time

    Pros

    I love being able to contribute to other people success.

    Cons

    It's a great place to work.


  2. "Media Planner"

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

    I worked at TracyLocke full-time

    Pros

    It was a great work environment

    Cons

    There isn't a bad thing to say about the company

  3. "Squeezed by corporate, held back by culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Wilton, CT
    Former Employee - Project Manager in Wilton, CT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - TracyLocke is a fast-paced challenging environment, and newcomers will tackle a lot in a short amount of time. TracyLocke is excellent for building a resume fast, as it is often recited, and the brands available to work on are big-name.

    - If you play the right cards politically you can advance quickly

    - Lots of cool albeit small perks, including massages, bagels, better than average coffee machines, some cool outings and events e.g. Halloween, beer carts on Fridays, etc

    - Creative applicants are screened hard, and TracyLocke is a very Creative-forward agency that produces some incredible work

    - While TracyLocke is a "shopper" agency, the work is far more varied and interesting than most in this category

    - Casual business environment (e.g. jeans every day, open tattoos, casual language, etc) that makes fun to work at right out of college. Dogs are allowed at work. Very cool, talented, interesting employees across all teams

    - Good location to live outside of NYC and experience the industry

    - Benefits are about average! But considering so many people are young enough to still be on their parents' insurance (under 26 as of time of writing) under the ACA, the company could be contributing more to employees who are on the Plan(s)

    Cons

    - Hours are very rough, which is why most people are younger and do not have families

    - Pay in the industry hasn't risen much in decades due to large corporate holding companies (in this case TracyLocke is owned by Omnicom), and despite stellar performance at TL, pay is actually below-average for the area and field

    - HR is small team which makes hiring tough, and teams who need additional support are left to struggle for far too long . Likewise, HR policy isn't well-baked, leading people to turn over in search of pay raises and title promotions

    - Culture is clique-y depending on when you've joined, and in some ways is very immature and rowdy. Does not apply to all people, but some in mid-management could be a bit more professional. There is a fair amount of gossip, as with any workplace, but sometimes it crosses the line.

    - TracyLocke is lagging severely in their digital capabilities, which is a sore point for clients and is a much-needed value in today's field

    - Not the most diverse but they are actively trying to hire more people of diverse backgrounds, so really a con turning pro

    - Management offers a lot of false promises, and does not reward TracyLocke employees for their contributions evenly. For example, in a year when we won a lot of new business, bonuses were not competitive and were the same as a previous year with worse fiscal performance

    - Space is limited in the building and sometimes getting set up properly, e.g. with reliable internet is tough. I myself did not have a functioning desk phone for months.

    Advice to Management

    Reward employees more competitively for their work. Offer hourly jobs, some people twiddle their thumbs (you would save money if they were not on the clock) and some work crazy hours (and do not get rewarded for it).

    Fight harder to fight turnover. People leave in waves and this company has unusually high turnover.


  4. "A toxic clique culture."

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

    I have been working at TracyLocke full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    If you like emotional harassment, long hours and low pay, this is the place for you.

    Cons

    Shoot first and ask questions later kind of place. No room for thoughtful planning. Agency is run at 1,000MPH, with a "just get it done" attitude from the management. No respect for personal time. Women and new hires are made to feel excluded and made fun of. If you're not part of the "boys club", don't bother.

    Advice to Management

    When the management is and has been an all white male affair for a century, it's hard to bring fresh ideas to an aging agency.


  5. "They have a lot of work to do"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at TracyLocke full-time

    Pros

    - some great employee bonding activities
    - bagels
    - good coffee
    - managers are pretty reasonable if you have a dr apt, etc
    - new leadership is growing the business
    - if they see you are talented you wil be given more responsibility (but this turns into a con when they abuse it)
    - awesome creative product

    Cons

    - overworked - longgggg hours
    - underpaid - good luck with that rise. They will get it to you in about 8 months after they tell you you're getting one
    - leadership
    - the HR department doesnt protect employees in instances of manager/co-worker inappropriateness and doesnt do anything about sexual harrasment complaints (even if there have been MULTIPLE complaints about one person)
    - things get stolen at the office


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Trust the reviews. TracyLocke Chicago is not a place you want to work."

    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
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at TracyLocke full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Conveniently located in downtown Chicago at the AON Center. Restaurants, parks and shopping in the building and within walking distance.
    - Free massages, beer, candy, and bagels on certain days and weeks.
    - Casual dress code.
    - Both men and women in senior level roles.
    - Average value of benefits for medical, dental and vision.

    Cons

    - The communication is abysmal at this company across the board. The Chicago office is an afterthought for this company. Several people get looped into emails that they cannot take any action on because they shouldn't have been on the email in the first place. Some people don't even read their emails. Some people won't even speak directly to the employee that needs to do the task for some unknown reason. Lots of finger pointing when something doesn't get done. Directors, Leads and Managers bark unclear orders at people and get frustrated for the employees not reading their minds.
    - Extremely toxic culture. Is there even culture? It's every person for themselves here. There is a committee, but they work (well, the one person who actually tries to make things happen works) against employees who have no interest in making the Chicago location a fun place to work. One of the outings got canceled because of lack of interest. Many of the Senior employees and leadership are not experienced in dealing with how to motivate a team. They let it show when they have a problem with an employee with indirect, unclear criticism. Because of all the pressure of the demands, a lot of the senior people and leadership end up acting out in front of other employees by yelling, being sarcastic, slamming doors, and gossiping with other team members. They are never reprimanded, so the inappropriate behavior continues. No pat on the back for a job well done. It's the same posturing when recognition does happen by people who are the most toxic to the office. So many little catty cliques in this office. Who do you speak up to here? Who is listening? No one. Lots of basic, yes person people.
    - Hardly any people of color as stated in a previous review.
    - Understaffed. Full timers take on many tasks here and are not recognized for it. It usually takes someone leaving to get promoted and that mostly does not happen. They frequently hire contractors, some of which sit around because there is no planning to have them start working on day one. Sometimes they just hire someone who is not qualified just to have a warm body. The same can be said for full timers just starting. They are usually sitting around because their day or week is not planned out properly by the hiring manager or team.
    - Terrible support departments. There is no local Finance or Human Resources representative on site. You have to email or call them. Finance uses an Excel spreadsheet for expense reporting. You can never get your expense report right because there's nothing in writing to guide you. Budgeting here is out the window with leadership that has excuses for everything. The Chicago location really needs an HR representative to babysit this team. The HR person that does come around visits once a quarter, if even. That person has no interest in improving the culture of this office. There are employees that have been fired with no HR person present. Guess what happens? A Manager will spill the beans about letting go of this employee. IT is centralized through the parent company and takes days if not weeks to respond to tickets. Very frustrating.
    - Leadership's attitude has trickled down. They don't care. They openly and loudly complain about other people. The C-Suite only visits if it's profitable. Otherwise, don't expect the C-Suite or the local leadership to thank you for your long days and weekends. The top dog at this office has a friendly personality, but is young, not present, and inexperienced at leading an office. The two most senior people in the office need to stick to being creative and strategy consultants. They have no business leading or managing a team. One of them doesn't even address people by name, and the other one will not give their time of day to anyone who is not a direct report, if that person even shows up to the office.

    Advice to Management

    - Start caring about the culture. Carve out the time to strategize employee retention. There's a reason your employees are leaving in droves and you don't have enough applicants. Show up to the events. Talk to different employees and ask how they are doing, not just when you need something from them. A lot more acknowledgement of the great job the employees are doing. There should be more visits from the C-Suite where they talk to the Chicago team so the office doesn't feel like a sweat shop.
    - Work on communication. Don't trust on your current staff to know better. I have witnessed many of the leaders shrug off and make fun of the infrequent training that is provided by the parent company. Make it mandatory that there are regularly scheduled courses for leadership to improve their communication. Have employees fill out anonymous feedback forms to help pinpoint areas for improvement. Check yourself. Not enough thinking before speaking in this whole company.


  7. "Creatives beware"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - in Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - in Dallas, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good work-life balance (depending on the account)
    Great creative minds to work with

    Cons

    This is a completely Account-driven agency. Account Directors are allowed far too much freedom to dictate creative changes. Requests are one thing...orders are another.

    Promotions are practically impossible to come by as well.

    Advice to Management

    Redefine roles and responsibilities. No creative wants to work under their Account team's thumb.

    When people ask for raises, take them seriously. They will leave.

  8. "Great people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Broadcast Negotiator in Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - Assistant Broadcast Negotiator in Dallas, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TracyLocke full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    TracyLocke hires great people. Teamwork abounds.

    Cons

    Only a chosen few get recognition.

    Advice to Management

    Recognize that it's okay to have the same policies across all TL offices, but the people and culture of each is different.


  9. "Great Culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Art Director in Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - Art Director in Dallas, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TracyLocke full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Fun culture, typical ad agency vibe, supportive teams. Excellent CEO at present, keeping things competitive and fresh. Winning every possible pitch, rockin' momentum.

    Cons

    Slow growth for employees, not too many advancement opportunities.


  10. "Assistant Account Executive"

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

    I have been working at TracyLocke full-time

    Pros

    Great work environment with fun people. Very collaborative

    Cons

    Difficult to move up for growth


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