WCG Reviews | Glassdoor

WCG Reviews

Updated June 24, 2017
75 reviews

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2.4
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Aaron Strout
5 Ratings

75 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Very smart people, cutting edge programs, competitive salaries (in 12 reviews)

  • Fast paced environment, but easy to adapt (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • No one at the top openly acknowledges this part of it (in 5 reviews)

  • The entire C suite has no clue how to run a large organization effectively (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Great Agency for Self-starters & Entrepreneurs"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Managing Director in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Managing Director in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Extremely fast-paced environment with changing priorities to keep ahead of the curve – a great fit for self-starters & entrepreneurs who want to grow into their next position (at the agency or otherwise). Lots of smart people who will challenge you and make you better. Wide variety of capabilities gives you opportunities to learn new skills.

    Cons

    Extremely fast-paced environment with changing priorities to keep ahead of the curve – not a good fit for someone who wants to come in from 9 to 5 and punch the clock with the same job day-after-day.

    Advice to Management

    Focus more time on the internal communications to make sure everyone is rowing in the same direction to maximize the power and focus of all of the talented team members.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Account Director"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at WCG full-time

    Pros

    Early on, a great place to learn the business of biotech PR

    Cons

    Leadership expected employees to meet the highest of standards, yet they failed in how they treated employees

  3. Helpful (11)

    "Clueless CEO and Management Team"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Director in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Account Director in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    They claim to pay above the industry average and there are a handful of smart people who work there, but the latter is true everywhere.

    Cons

    All the smart people end up leaving once they figure out Sr. Management isn't very talented and has no real vision or strategy.

    Jim, the real CEO. Credit for building something out of nothing, but you are in way over your head now. Maybe the new PE firm will help, but when I left Jim was clueless and surrounded by yes men and women. These management folks would not have the same title or responsibilities anywhere else, but since they kowtow to the boss they do at W2O.

    The best summary of Jim, the company and their capabilities is a video you can find by Googling W2O values video.

    Jim thought this was self-depreciating and went to every office to play it personally in front of the whole company. In each office he said something along the lines of "I don't know how many other CEOs would do something like this." like it was something to be proud of and that is Jim to a T.

    As bad or worse, nobody stood up to tell him the video, the values as hashtags, the production values, etc. were all poor and shouldn't be shared internally or externally.

    Strout, the WCG "CEO" is the perfect example of a sales guy who has been asked to manage people, come up with strategy and a bunch of other things that aren't pitching new biz. If he ever left agency world and moved in to a marketing role at a brand it would be an unmitigated disaster because he's not an operator or somebody who can come up with or implement a strategy, but he can sell / pitch.

    Advice to Management

    Hope Jim retains control and doesn't fire you like he's fired so many others because the company is incapable of keeping a steady headcount. If you do get let go, get ready for a pay cut and a lesser role. Most of you are sales people in too deep trying to run a business and manage people. Fun while it lasted though!


  4. Helpful (14)

    "It's unbelievable companies like this still exist."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Outside of some nice, smart people to work with, there are literally no pros to working for WCG/W2O/Brewlife.

    Cons

    Avoid this company like the PLAGUE. The entire C suite has no clue how to run a large organization effectively. Add to that the fact that they were recently PURCHASED BY A PRIVATE EQUITY FIRM. The PE firm eliminated one of our divisions recently. Several good people were laid off. Now, that's business. It happens. I get it. But the way it was handled goes outside the bounds of not just professional ethics, but simple human decency.

    This company is run by arrogant, misguided children who treat it and the people in it like a sandbox. They operate like they all graduated from the Gordon Gecko school of management. The private equity firm has added an entirely new layer of incompetence, uncaring and absent management.

    Not only can I not recommend us as an employer, I wouldn't hire us as a vendor just on principle.

    Advice to Management

    You're beyond help.


  5. Helpful (13)

    "The Lowdown."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    If you are a very very specific type of person, This place will treat you like a rock star. Also, you will likely learn a lot here.

    Cons

    So here is the low down, getting at the root of all the negative reviews. WCG is a place that builds its professional culture on people being strong individuals who take initiative and be their own advocate. Most people are given a lot of autonomy to forge their own relationships and build their own in-company business; and if you do this effectively, you are rocketed up and touted as a rockstar. Those are the ONLY people who are valued at this company. It is entrepreneurialism at its most extreme.

    Those who don't follow that mold are literally fodder for the entrepreneurs with huge personalities and even huger egos. It doesn't matter if you are awesome within your own niche. If you are not rallying the masses as a leader or generating business momentum, then you are just a tool to be used.

    This is where the cliques, favoritism and politics that everyone mentions come in as well. Since the interpersonal structure is centered around these select ego-centric entrepreneurs, everyone else is made to fall in line with their own 'leader.' And each group ends up sticking to their own...

    Advice to Management

    Entrepreneurialism is great. Some of those guys are really stellar at what they do. But hunger games level of entrepreneurialism is destructive-- and it is counterproductive to people who would like to work collaboratively and effectively otherwise.


  6. "It Depends"

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

    Pros

    Very smart people, cutting edge programs, competitive salaries

    Cons

    Politics, lots of change and ambiguity


  7. Helpful (9)

    "Not worth your time! Avoid."

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

    I worked at WCG (More than a year)

    Pros

    The money. If you are unhappy enough they will also allow you to work a few of your 12-hour workdays from home.

    Cons

    The work, people, environment: boys' club, treatment of women, promotions, no internal communication, HR is useless, no one makes a decision so the company goes in circles. The worst part is they say this is to encourage everyone to jump in and help.

    Remember that time in high school or maybe college when you were on a team and no one did the work, talked in circles and you, being the hardworking professional individual you are, were left to meet the presentation deadline? Get ready to be paid to live that experience weekly here, except replace teachers with clients and sexist executives.

    If that isn't bad enough, one of the co-founders went on a rampage accusing colleagues by email and WCGs private FB group that someone stole his wife's coat at the holiday party. He then deleted the comment and offered a lame excuse, not apology by email. That is one of the many men leading this organization and the book he just came out with? You will be promoting it in your "free" time.

    Advice to Management

    None. Any feedback you give will fall on deaf ears. The executive team isn't interested in your advice. They are interested in how much they can get out of you.

  8. Helpful (15)

    "It's all true"

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

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

    Pros

    Everything you've read in these negative reviews is true and I'm sure you are seeing a pattern. I honestly have never seen such great salesmen on a senior level - it's how they duped so many smart people into working here, but then quickly realized they've made a huge mistake. The only pros I could see were that you had company in your misery and that they do pay well for an agency - another tactic to lure talent in to hopefully blind them from the bad. And there's so much bad.

    Cons

    Going back to the great salesmen part, we constantly pulled in new, large, sexy clients because leadership would promise them anything and everything. Then the project would begin and it wouldn't take long for the client to figure out that we couldn't deliver on those promises. This would put staff under tremendous pressure over something they didn't have any say in or control over.

    If you're not in the club and "one of the good ol' boys," then watch out. It was like the kids who got picked on in grade school were finally getting their revenge. Bullies. The things that I witnessed first-hand to pressure jr. staff into staying was appalling and wouldn't be tolerated anywhere else.

    I also witnessed first hand the lack of a moral compass among leadership, instructing staff to perform tactics that were dishonest and underhanded - anything to make sure they weren't revealed for the frauds they are.

    The egos on most of the leadership staff are astronomically large. It starts at the top and I don't know if they are so delusional that they actually believe their own hype, but it seems that way. And don't think that we all don't notice how the only awards and coverage they receive are from the Holmes Report.

    Advice to Management

    It's time to take a good, hard look at yourselves and what you stand for. People come out of that place traumatized. I would say that you should clean house, but we all know that won't happen. The turnover in your staff and clients is widely known and if you don't reevaluate your existence and grow some morals, you won't be around much longer.


  9. "Great Company"

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

    Pros

    Get it done approach is really good.

    Cons

    Downtown location is not so good.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the focus on innovation


  10. Helpful (14)

    "good god. is this necessary?"

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

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

    Pros

    Smart people. Lot of responsibility. People who don't buy into the silly games can be really awesome.

    Cons

    All the reviews are true. Top heavy, ego-centric management. Lot's of interpersonal political garbage. Very cliquey. Align yourself with a clique early on and you *might* do okay-- but worst thing you can do is to be your own person.

    HR was also an agent of the machine. I (perhaps naively) relayed my mixed feelings about the organization and way things were run upon my exit interview (key word: mixed, as I had a lot of positive things to say as well); it was clear that my colleagues were informed by HR. I had become a pariah on my last day. And it is clear I have since been blacklisted.

    Advice to Management

    Break the cliques. There are lots of ways to contribute other than being a lackey. People who were smart and driven can be very valuable even if they arent out there winning business every day or joining the sorority.


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