AKQA

  www.akqa.com
  www.akqa.com

AKQA Reviews

Updated 22 November, 2014
Updated 22 November, 2014
198 Reviews
2.6
198 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Ajaz Ahmed
39 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You'll get to work on some massive clients and work with some great people (in 17 reviews)

  • Lots of great clients, good budget and wonderful people to work with (in 14 reviews)


Cons
  • I know some other departments have a much less favorable work life balance (in 23 reviews)

  • Low pay, long hours, 2 weeks of vacation for the first 2 years (in 19 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Awesome company/family

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

    I worked at AKQA full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    There is nothing better
    Client like their brands
    Lots of nice perks
    great talented people
    Approachable managment

    Cons

    never enough hours in the day

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Agile.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Typical image led marketing agency

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

    I have been working at AKQA

    Pros

    Cool brands, enthusiastic team, fun

    Cons

    Too focussed on short term campaigns and one off web projects rather than building working customer centric software

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Same old same old

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director in New York, NY (US)
    Former Employee - Director in New York, NY (US)

    I worked at AKQA full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    People are generally pleasant with day-to-day interaction.

    Cons

    The creative staff still acts as if they're work supersedes all other departments while generally only convoluting the overall process and layering projects with ego and passive-agressive sentiment.

    A lot of smoke and mirrors.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Creative environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Executive in New York, NY (US)
    Former Employee - Account Executive in New York, NY (US)

    I worked at AKQA full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Opportunity to learn, great creative environment

    Cons

    Not a lot of room for promotion

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Good for short term, not so good for long one.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - SQA Engineer in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - SQA Engineer in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at AKQA as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Nice and smart people, specially developers.
    Big office. Fancy coffee machines.

    Cons

    Some projects are very tedious to work on. Not having excitement from the job is done.
    Clients constantly adding new stuff and expecting you to do your work keeping the same deadlines.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Value smart people that are coming to your company and try to keep them.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Lost their way

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at AKQA full-time

    Pros

    Great clients with huge potential, smart and driven people.

    Cons

    Since being acquired by WPP, and moving to their new building, the magic of the place just went away. New senior management stepped in and the insanity began. The Creative department is ruled through fear and insults. PM too junior and ineffective. Client service holds true to 'yes men' stereotypes. Tech never given enough project budget and trust to be effective.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The strategy of loading London people at the top is not working. SF needs leadership that understands how to run a profitable business, not just jump at every shiny trinket that crosses their path. I remember when the cons listed above were rare exceptions. It was a great place to work back then.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Great experience and great co-workers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Campaign Manager in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Campaign Manager in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at AKQA full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    If you are looking to jumpstart your career or get the experience you have been craving in the marketing/ad industry then AKQA is definitely a place to get it. My 1.5 years here was easily the most challenging and educational time of my life. I recommend anyone in the marketing industry to be in advertising for at least a year. It teaches you so much about not just the industry but professionalism and how to build an overall work ethic. Having such big clients really makes you work that much harder because one wrong move and you can lose a million dollar client. The people here are definitely some of the best in the business.

    Perk wise, well... 80% of health is paid for, pre-tax commuter benefits, subsidized massage every other week (if you can find a slot), subsidized acupuncturist every other week (again, if you can find a slot). Fancy expresso machines with artisan coffee bean (sight glass, blue bottle, etc) when the machine is not broken. Twice a week free yoga in-house (these are awesome fyi) and 'magic hour' session once a week (think bootcamp but with a pep talk)

    Cons

    If you are looking for great pay and you're not senior management then you're looking in the wrong place. AKQA does NOT pay industry standard. It's far from it. Their pay scale needs a serious revamp in terms of offering the right amount of money given anyone's experience. It almost reflects that of a government rubric where certain types of positions gets between X-Y amount and so on. But being the ad industry with so much turnover, I can see why offering more money may or may not be worth it.

    For a company with this kind of revenue stream and reputation, you would think there would be MORE perks such as free snacks and drinks, which by now is an industry staple in SF. Instead of providing such simple things, they try to mask their frugality with other 'perks' like a daily green drink which is usually kale and other things smoothie. Not a bad thing but not everyone is into that and I think they know it.

    Also, unless you're one of the bigger accounts and doing creative (audi, jordan, activision, etc) then don't expect to ever be recognized by the company as a whole. All of the all-hands are only ever focused on their biggest accounts and everyone else is not even mentioned.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Perhaps offering higher salaries would help with retention better.

    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Great experience with great people

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

    I have been working at AKQA as a contractor

    Pros

    Location, culture and growth. I work on a spectacular team and enjoy the work being produced here.

    Cons

    No work/life balance. Be prepared to put in long hours due to the unending requests from clients.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 5 people found this helpful  

    Dismal. So glad I left!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)

    I worked at AKQA full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Thinking about it, there were few pros to working here. Some colleagues are fine but all the good people eventually leave.
    London location is good. That's about it!

    Cons

    I am out of there nearly two years and I am so happy I made the decision to go. I had no alternative lined up but being unemployed for a little while was so much better than staying. AKQA is simply the worst place I have ever worked. Bullying is casual, backstabbing is the lifeblood of this place. The senior mgmt are terrified/cronies of the CEO which manifests in a culture of bullying and pettiness for those who report to them. It is awful.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I bet you don't read Glassdoor. Perhaps you do but you don't care anyway.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    The end of an empire

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)

    I worked at AKQA full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Lovely people but even the most human are leaving.

    Cons

    This once great agency has fallen on hard times. No doubt the money will keep rolling in and they can definitely trade off their reputation for a few years to come.

    A mere five years ago no one was doing what AKQA was doing. They had the clients, the talent and technical infrastructure to get some incredible world firsts off the ground.

    Now smaller agencies and start ups can do what AKQA does for a fraction of the cost and at twice the speed. Even the quality that was AKQA’s trademark has fallen by the wayside. A bloated bureaucracy has arisen despite the cries of lean thinking and start up mindsets.

    Today it resembles a club that was once frequented by artistic greats, but is now filled with the industry’s equivalent of estate agents and financial advisors. Everyone wants a bit of the famous fire but only embers remain.

    If you can stomach it, by all means, go for a year. Get the initials on your CV but be in no doubt – this beast is choking out its death rattle.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pull a Brutus.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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