AKQA

www.akqa.com

AKQA Reviews

Updated 26 January 2015
Updated 26 January 2015
212 Reviews
2.9
212 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Ajaz Ahmed
48 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. 1 person found this helpful  

    Stimulating environment and good opportunities.

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

    I have been working at AKQA full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Good work life balance and opportunities for career progression around the world. Every day a new opportunity surfaces so feels dynamic. Employees believe in the vision to create the best work of their careers. Lots of social events to get to know people. Culture feels like a close family where people co-operating to benefit the whole.

    Cons

    Every now and then need to work the odd evening or weekend, but to be expected in an agency that has multinational clients on different timezones.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Attitude towards team is pleasant and respectful. Am enjoying learning lots.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2.  

    High turnover, average pay, great experience

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

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

    Pros

    I got to work with lots of very talented people and got a lot of good experiece

    Cons

    such a large ad agency, you were put into a bucket and it was impossible to escape it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    cross over between talents

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Great opportunities to work on innovative projects and travel!

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

    I have been working at AKQA full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Opportunities - I joined AKQA shortly after working at smaller agencies and was intimidated at first but have found the culture to have the strongest team ethos from any of the companies I've worked at before. The team is amazing and all projects I've worked on have an international aspect so I get to travel!! As projects are at cutting edge I am learning from experts in their field.

    Cons

    Obsessively high standards to craft the best is hard work at times but worth it for the end product.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management is overall professional and caring, especially about team spirit. Keep it that way by continuing to bring in the best!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5.  

    High standards will keep you on your toes

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

    I have been working at AKQA full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Amazing clients and co-workers. My supervisor is great and I always feel appreciated. The work is challenging and standards are high, so I'm constantly learning.

    Cons

    Work-life balance can be tough. The high standards and expectations can be stressful and lead to long hours.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communication! Positive reinforcement for the hard-working masses could be a morale-booster.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Focused on my personal development

    • 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 full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Every day is a new experience and challenge. The global knowledge I have gained is incredible. My manager and Head of' are extremely supportive and provide me with opportunities I never thought I'd be involved in.

    Cons

    The hours can be long but that is partly me not being able to switch off!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the employee feedback and bring back the initiatives that unfortunately stopped last year, or revamp them.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    A Revolving Door. A Great Place To Learn Quickly Under Pressure.

    • 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 a year)

    Pros

    First and foremost, my fondest memories at AKQA were of the people I worked with. I worked in the MSA (Media, Search and Analytics) department for 1.5 years and have developed my expertise by working with some highly skilled and hard-working folks.

    MSA tends to operate as its own shop, independent of the rest of AKQA - as such, my review will be specific to it. There are plenty of perks in the office - free coffee, free fruit, social events, yoga, massage, acupuncture...huge office space with plenty of open tables for meetings or private work. For people new to the industry, it is a fantastic opportunity to get exposure to respected brands.

    People in this department work hard. I can't speak to the rest of AKQA, but work hours typically run from 9-6, 8-6, 8-7, 7-7, etc. etc...then again, you are free to leave at 5 if you wish to do so. Generally speaking, people come to work in good taste.

    The office caters to young professionals, I would say the vast majority of the department consists of people in their twenties. After a couple of years at this agency, opportunities for growth at successful and high-paying companies "in-house" will be abundant.

    Cons

    Although I listed this as a Pro, this might also be considered a Con: the department is young. This is due to the high turnover rate and the relatively pigeonholed nature of the work - you'll get exposure to great brands, but any specific individuals' power over a project tends to be very narrow in most cases.

    The pay is low, and the work is relatively stressful. It becomes frustrating to work hard on delivering a brands' success and get little to no recognition. This is the cost of doing business - strong performance from the team gets credited to the marketing managers, then disseminated (maybe) to the agency, then to the directors, then to the individuals who work to make it happen. For the most part, this latter faction gets utterly ignored - it is the responsibility of an effective manager to vocalize the hard work of the teams consistently.

    To the rest of AKQA, the MSA department is the necessary but severely uncool counterpart. To MSA, AKQA is a hotbed of emotional politics with no unified vision.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Show greater appreciation for your employees. Salary is fair for the lack of experience in talent, but for the love of God, provide greater incentives in the form of bonuses to motivate the teams - many of these kids cannot live in SF with these salaries.

    Provide a clear mission statement. People will rally behind a cause despite harsh circumstances if they believe the mission to be meaningful.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Was amazing

    • 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

    Amazing people.
    Amazing clients.

    Cons

    Starting to become dated and have hired a batch of mediocre people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire senior people from outside the firm that'll shake things up.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Doesn't care about people

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

    I have been working at AKQA

    Pros

    Some brands are supposedly good to work on, some people are nice I guess.
    The company name on your resume and that's it.

    Cons

    So many don't know where to start
    - Titles don't fit your real position in this business
    - Salaries are extremely low
    - Company ask you to give up your personal life but doesn't give you anything in return
    - Everything is extremely political : If you've worked 5 years for AKQA but are worthless at your job you will still be way more rewarded than someone extremely talented but new.
    You need to lick your CD's boots if you want a promotion
    -Projects are never produced
    -Worst thing by far for a creative : you start a project, do all the conceptual thinking and see your project produced by others creative that take credit for your work.
    - Creative will build presentation and decks 90% of the time instead of doing real work

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start by treating your employee properly and go back to real ideas not some worthless design. Reward real talents not people that just have connections

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Brilliant job with amazing colleagues and provides the potential to go far

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at AKQA

    Pros

    Work hard and get rewarded. The opportunities are endless. Your peers are smart, hard working and great to socialise with

    Cons

    Long hours. Not always the best work of your life - sometimes bau. Hard to get in.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Great place to work - always recommended

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