Essence Reviews

Updated Jun 21, 2020

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3.2
57%
Recommend to a Friend
69%
Approve of CEO
Essence Global CEO Kyoko Matsushita (no image)
Kyoko Matsushita
11 Ratings
Pros
  • "Great culture of individuals who are smart and problem solvers(in 27 reviews)

  • "You will learn so much, meet great people and get experience in every area of media and entertainment(in 18 reviews)

Cons
  • "You are expected to work long hours because the workload is too much to get done in a normal workday(in 18 reviews)

  • "Very poor senior management team who makes very poor decisions or do nothing(in 15 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Exciting, hard working agency"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Essence full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    People are very open to work across teams Some of the biggest brands and clients. Very good perks Cool atmosphere and clever bunch of colleagues Great training Flexible

    Cons

    Hard working vibe meaning you're much more likely to work until late in the evening than clock off early for drinks Hard to push through promotions Fearful WPP acquisition could kill 'indie agency' vibe

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  2. "fine place to work"

    4.0
    Former Employee - Director in Singapore

    I worked at Essence full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    friendly staff, good office snacks, relaxed work environment

    Cons

    some issues with lack of management and support for younger team members

  3. "Calm atmosphere"

    5.0
    Former Employee - Strategist 

    I worked at Essence full-time

    Pros

    good snacks, many activities to bond with coworkers, chill atmosphere. Not stressful

    Cons

    No downsides. Great place to work.

  4. COVID-19
    Helpful (5)

    "Poor leadership and lack of growth"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Singapore
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Essence full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Capability aside, people in Essence are generally very nice - Work with Google, good brand name - Nice office with good location - Pay is generally better than other advertising firms, but heard that it's getting worse for people who join now.

    Cons

    - Very poor senior management team who makes very poor decisions or do nothing. in fact, this covid 19 has exposed so many incompetencies within the senior management through their decisions. Those who know will understand what I mean. - This is a place where your upper management promote faster than your executives. If you are a young aspiring advertising professional/mid career, please stay away unless you want to be stuck. - Again, if you are a young professional who really wants to pursue advertising, please do not join Essence. Essence services Google in a very specialised approach, which means you become a master of one channel (e.g. Search or Trueview) but the real world expects you to know a suite of channels to come up with an integrated approach. Even if they tell you they can rotate you around channels for "learning" and "exposure", it takes really long for such decisions to be made. - Prides itself in "turning down new businesses". - Always view itself as a tech company which we are clearly not. making the office googly doesn't make us Google. - Stop saying we are data driven when you don't have many people really understand what's data

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  5. COVID-19
    Helpful (2)

    "Most put together agency I have worked for, Culture could be better"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Planning Supervisor in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Essence full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Very process oriented, and organized - Great work life balance depending on the account - Very open to moving team members to other accounts/business units to further career growth and maximize exposure - Lots of opportunity to take part in client communications and presentations at all job levels - Essence leadership is great and very transparent, even though my individual account lacked this

    Cons

    - Lack of account leadership and communication (if you were not AD or above you could not join weekly leadership meetings). It was expected that leadership that could attend these meetings would communicate down, but this was often not the case (especially when certain teams did not have an AD/Director staffed). - There was very little cross-business unit cohesion outside of your day to day managers/reports - Other agencies/accounts I have been on were encouraged to befriend and communicate with colleagues both during and after work. Most people at Essence though only came to do their jobs and went home the first chance they got. - Currently on a hiring freeze, promotion/salary freeze, and 401K match freeze until 2021. Implemented a large number of layoffs, reduced work weeks, and furloughs due to COVID. Company needs to be better prepared to deal with future client budget decreases (i.e. have a better diversity of client types)

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  6. "Premium media agency"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Social Media Activation Manager in Sydney
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Essence full-time

    Pros

    Global agency with strong network and processes

    Cons

    A lot of different stakeholders to collaborate with

  7. "Great company"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Media Activation Manager 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Essence full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great culture. Everyone is friendly.

    Cons

    No cons that I can think of.

  8. COVID-19
    Helpful (8)

    "A fish rots at the head - Look elsewhere, these aren't the leaders you're looking for"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Essence full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great culture and atmosphere within immediate working groups. Your colleagues are smart and friendly. You'll learn a lot in the first 6 months. Sadly, what you learn will be most of what you do unless you find new opportunities, and that's not easy here

    Cons

    It's just not what it's cracked up to be. All the flashy stuff you hear about? It may exist, but not to the point where it is saving people time. Everyone is overworked, and in crisis mode much of the time Other reviews mention this, but worth repeating - Cliquey and political atmosphere, you're in or you're out. Leadership and much of management doesn't talk to Essentials outside their direct work group. Collaboration, and even getting help, is hard (because everyone's overworked) Company trying to either coast on reputation or reinvent itself as something new. What that is, couldn't say because we have no idea. The communication disconnect between leadership and the rest of the agency is very real, and very disappointing.

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  9. "Great perks"

    4.0
    Current Employee - Product Management in London, England

    I have been working at Essence full-time

    Pros

    Good fun place to work. Lots of perks!

    Cons

    Very busy and loud office + flexidesking.

  10. COVID-19
    Helpful (6)

    "Leadership needs WORK."

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Planning in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Essence full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great, nice people to work with from Director level-down. Great benefits, PTO, flexible WFH pre-COVID.

    Cons

    The leadership at this agency is horrendous. There seems to be a huge communication gap between upper level management and the actual teams and worker bees. They only seem to care about the well being of the people at the very top. They just laid off and furloughed a huge percentage of the company, only at lower positions and did not even get direction from their respective directors. Totally unprofessional, unfair and inhuman.

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Found 254 reviews