Starcom Sucks Customer Reviews and Feedback

From Everything.Sucks

Starcom is an international media network, with headquarters in Chicago is part of France’s Publicis, the third-largest communications group globally.

A former associate mentioned, "There are many higher ups that do no have any idea what is going on which makes training and learning in this high pace environment very difficult. You need to have thick skin in order to work at Starcom."


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Current Employee - Senior Associate says

"Cliquey environment. Growth opportunities aren't non-existent. No diversity outside of entry-level positions."

Former Employee - Associate Director says

"Senior management will never be honest with you. SVP’s will smile to your face then use directors to build a case and make you feel like a failure (even if your work is strong). The company is doing awful but they’re not honest about it. Once you’re targeted you can be a model employee and it will not matter, save yourself the headache and anxiety and stay away!"

Former Employee - Media Associate says

"Managers who lie to you, horrible working conditions, lots of outside hires, higher-ups who stroll in at 11am."

Current Employee - Director says

"Definition of the position that I applied to was not the position that I ended up taking at company. The teams are not truly scoped well and there is quite a lot of overlap in duties. Supervisor was busy dealing with sick pet and parents and was not able to onboard properly. To cover this misstep supervisor will use subordinate as scape goat for all issues. On further review found out supervisor was incorrectly staffed too. Need to better staff strong, knowledgeable staff that are not able to make excuses"

Former Employee - Associate says

"Managers sick all the time Associates are exploited I was given false hope of a promotion Very cliquey Low salary for all the tasks and non-sense you have to deal with High stress environment No sense of camaraderie No one cares about you or your well-being I never had a lunch break Many late nights"

Current Employee - Digital Associate says

"Terrible training. They expect you to know things right away. They show you some complicated programs and procures once, after few weeks they want you to repeat them without asking any questions. Competitive environment where people are not there to help you, but rather put you down. You want to work in media? You will actually end up working like a computer science analysts , using so many computer software programs and extracting data in the Excel all day long!"

Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says

"It is dependent on your team, but some upper level management are too junior and do not deserve promotions. You know it is bad when a SVP promotes a brownnoser to Director and everyone on the team (and wider team) rolls their eyes in disappointment, along with former staff at other agencies. “Leaders” need to be more accountable for their unclear direction (resulting in 4 AM nights), mistakes, and stop shifting blame to others on the team who were just trying to help. Another example of a toxic environment situation witnessed was being in a conference room where there was a shouting match between upper management, even with curse words involved. It is not a professional environment where one can grow, especially when employees are exposed daily to negativity, overworked and under appreciated. Work-life balance is nonexistent... was threatened and forced to cancel plans to attend a wedding, anniversary dinner, etc. The cliques were also a major turn-off, along with the hot desks (no assigned seating; first-come, first-serve)."

Former Employee - Associate says

"One of the worst work environments I have ever experienced. Upon arrival on my first day I had no idea what I was going to be doing or what account I would be on. My supervisor "trained" my very vaguely on the basics the first week or so, but that was it. I never felt included with the team and they didn't really seem to care to help any new hires. When I asked for assistance with tasks that I was never shown how to do before, my supervisor acted irritated that I was asking for help. That is not a supervisor or manager! They should be there to help, but no one really cares. I went into a depression working for this company because of the toxic environment. Not to mention I was bored to tears! My team never included me, so I sat at my desk all day with no communication. Moving up also takes years! Associates stay in the same position for at least 2 years with a terrible, barely livable salary."

Former Employee - Supervisor says

"Where do I even start... The upper management is a festering cess pool of incompetent fools. I have seen some of the most unprofessional behavior from them. This is my second career, so I have seen what proper professional corporate behavior is supposed to look like. I wondered how my Director had stayed for over 8 years in the same role, well it was very apparent after a couple of weeks. She's just good at bullshitting. She doesn't actually understand any of the logistics of the job. Is completely inept at being able to TEACH any of the employees assigned to her. And is so passive aggressive about every single thing she does you can not trust her at all. I ended up coming down with depression and showed symptoms of PTSD after dealing with the insidious nature of this company. You always feel like you have a target on your back for the smallest things. There is NO collaboration that happens. It's all "everyone is out for themselves" You don't do any real legitimate work either. It's all such utter nonsense. It makes you want to run to the client and tell them to stop wasting their money! Worst of all, teams are ALWAYS understaffed so you end up working far more hours, late late late into the night. All the while we are given "free food" from clients and vendors which mainly consists of carbs and sugar and sugar carbs. So everyone ends up with health issues. Upper management is always so focused on the next pitch they fail to manage the CURRENT clients they have, leave their teams floundering and without any direction and then wonder why there is such high turnover. HINT: If you have HIGH turnover on a team it's a SURE FIRE SIGN the management is to blame. NOT the associates! My team completely turned over in 2 months! Run as far as you can. It is not worth the stress, depression and weight gain!! Worst of all, the pay is absolute crap. Not worth it AT ALL."

Current Employee - Strategy Associate says

"I really did not know what I was getting myself into. The application/interview process was vague to start off with and no one knows their brand or team assignments until 9am on the first day. -As soon as I was given more responsibility, I was spread too thin with too little knowledge of what I was actually doing -Some people don't know how to manage - it really shows as soon as one thing goes awry -Entry levels are adhered to strict hours (9-5) which is good for work life balance but not good when there is more work than time given. It ends up being more stressful - It takes too long to be promoted and for almost no extra compensation or responsibility. Senior associates do the same exact thing as associates except they get more time to do it -Last but not least, this place is toxic beyond belief. People should not be crying at their desks or in the bathroom because of stress or anxiety about work."

Associate (Former Employee) says

"There are many higher ups that do no have any idea what is going on which makes training and learning in this high pace environment very difficult. You need to have thick skin in order to work at Starcom.Vendor EventsWork Life Balance"

Assistante administrative (Former Employee) says

"Travail amusant équipe au top patron a l'écoute salaire attrayantExemple : Repas gratuitsExemple : Pas d'avantages en nature"

Media Planner (Former Employee) says

"Working at SMG Gurgaon means no life, only work. Extremely disorganised - no clear steps being followed. High workload. high attrition. You are expected to work on weekends and public holidays too.Free gifts from ChannelsLong hours"

Senior Executive, AV (Former Employee) says

"Worked here for 2 years in AV and wouldn't recommend to anyone. Bad management, about 5 of us had promises of promotions lasting 1 year with 0 pay rises in between. Overworked and unpaid seems to be the main theme for all staff there. I'd say 10% of the team did most of the work but everyone in the department quits and moves on so very high turnovers, I really can't recommend enough that you look elsewhere - my entire team did and are much lunches, social team eventslong hours, no pay rises, slow promotion processes, poor management"

Media Intern (Former Employee) says

"The pay is very low for what is expected of interns with a college degree. Management and HR tell interns that there is a chance for a permanent position but it is not made clear on how long it will take to achieve it.Free LunchesHR and Management are not honest"

SVP (Former Employee) says

"The culture was one of the worst I've experienced in my entire career. Management uses employees as scapegoats to cover up for their own inabilities. They are also having personal relationships with junior employees, and promoting them as a result.Perks including tickets, food, gifts, etcLong hours, tons of travel"

Radio Broadcaster (Current Employee) says

"The co-workers are the best part of working with Starcom. Individuals go out of there way to help each other out, and it's a true team effort to get the job done. However, ownership is a complete joke. They refuse to update equipment, they deny raises to any employee, they cut benefits - health insurance is insanely expensive, and doesn't cover much. I would not recommend this environment to anyone who cares about the future they are pursuing.Co-workersOwnership"

Coordinator (Former Employee) says

"Relatively small team so it's an intimate work environment.However, not very flexible in terms of new business and the opportunity to expand your career portfolio.High staff turn-over, long hoursGreat opportunity to learn about new mediaSmall cliquey setting- you either fit in or stand out. Long hours. High staff turn over"

Client Business Manager (Current Employee) says

"Good people. The executive/ management seem out of touch with the reality of people on the ground. Compensation packages are extremely low."

Director of Analytics, South East Asia (Former Employee) says

"Tasked to grow and enhance the Data & Analytics practice for Starcom Mediavest across the region, key responsibilities include formulating viable business models for profitability across clients within the South East Asian region, and advocating the art of marketing science within the group and to clients as the way forward to convergent business intelligence. • Successfully set up Data & Analytics (DNA) department for Southeast Asia from scratch, and generated revenue stream of USD 360K for fiscal year • Devised pricing strategies and business structure of Data & Analytics with focus on digital media platform ads serving for Starcom Mediavest Group in Southeast Asia • Business Analytics: o Web Analytics (Google & Adobe SiteCatalyst) o Video, Mobile, Search Display Campaign Analytics o Measured spends via DSP platforms (ClickTrue, Doubleclick) o Measured media & brand health metrics against media spend investments for optimum marketing ROI o Marketing Mix Modeling o Media Mix Modeling o Dashboard & Data Visualization (Real-Time Analytics) on Media & Digital Spends o impact of media spends across brands and categories to draw insights for better campaign analysis and human-experience-based media planning o Paid, Owned, Earned Media (POEM) marketing channels to quantify total reach & impact across all media • Deployed for local and MNC clients (Samsung, BlackBerry, Coca Cola, Heineken, San Miguel, Bank Krungsi Thailand, UniLab Pharmaceuticals, Digi Telco-Telenor Group) across region o Go-to-market strategies for in-house DNA suite of products & solutions Too much flexibility.Lack of management strategy, support, process and quality management."

VP, Group Director (Former Employee) says

"SMG professes a culture of learning, sharing, and progression. The top-down culture means you do not challenge the norms or you will be let go. The sad thing is that the agency could do much better but the people who can really help to change are the workers and not the management who typically stay far from the business to protect themselves.SalaryWeak Leadership"

Digital Media Associate (Former Employee) says

"great place to learn but long hours. Fun and exciting culture with a lot of growth opportunities. This is a good place to start your advertising career and foster relationships in the industry"

Head of Digital & Strategy (Current Employee) says

"I really enjoyed working at Starcom and valued my time there. However, there had been many changes during my time there that haven't been managed properly that resulted in many people leaving the company across the board. Management is not emphatic or understanding at all to employees. That needs to change from a handful of people running the companies to a more even outcome."

Search Executive (Current Employee) says

"Very busy, tight deadlines lots of food after meetings with clients and when google gives training.etc etc etc etc etc I have learned excel and not much more co-workers deal with leaving"

ACCOUNT DIRECTOR (Former Employee) says

"Slowly losing big clients. Culture has not been rejuvenated. Need to increase morale of people and to assure them of stability. Management change always affects people but assurance will always help."

Director (Current Employee) says

"You work all the time including weekends and holidays. Even on vacation. If you have less than 3 years experience, you might as well pitch a tent in your cube and live there. The people you work with day will be great. There is very little respect for digital talent. This isn't surprising because the office is run by traditional (i.e., TV) planners. If it doesn't have anything to do with TV, they simply don't care. You're also expected to sell, cross-sell and upsell agency services to all clients. You won't get promoted unless you can sell. It makes for a very stressful experience. The CEO is a good person, but many of the other executives leave little to be desired. Do your time and get experience, then move on.The clients are well known to help build your resumeNot digitally savvy, long hours, few perks"

Media Associate (Current Employee) says

"It all depends on what account or brand you are on. Some can have negative experiences because of the account they are on.Free lunchesno overtime, lack of management"

Administrative Assistant/Senior Media Planner (Former Employee) says

"Starcom is filled with diverse, colorful people that make it hard to leave. But the work/life balance is terrible and it is hard to advance. Advancement is often based on popularity, not how good you are at your job."

Media Planner (Current Employee) says

"I was sad to leave Starcom because of the amazing people I had a chance to work with. The workplace culture has declined over the past few years. Work/life balance does not exist, I would work up to 65hrs/wk. Advancements are not always based on accomplishments, can be very political and you can get stuck in one place for a long period of time if it is working for the company. There is the feeling that you will be taken advantage of until you bring up the face that you feel you should advance.No life/work balance, Slow advancement that needs to be fought forDiverse group of peers"

Media Planning Associate (Former Employee) says

"Very low pay and high stress for first year new hires. A lot of spread sheet work. Enjoyment/growth depends on the team you're assigned to."