The Best and Worst CEOs to Work for in the Ad Business

Last Updated Dec 22, 2010 10:04 AM EST

JWT's Bob Jeffrey is the most liked ad agency CEO, and R/GA is the best place to work, according to an unscientific survey of users in the advertising business by Glassdoor, the careers web site. The worst ad agency to work for is Publicis Modem, and imc2 CEO Doug Levy is the worst boss, according to the site's rankings.

The survey is unscientific because Glassdoor's users tend to be people who are looking for work, which means they also often just left a job -- both are occasions on which employees tend to feel badly about their employers. It's also restricted to those agencies which have a particular presence on the site -- not all do.

Nonetheless, Publicis, Levy and imc2 should take the numbers seriously as ordinary employees have few alternative ways to judge the quality of life at current or prospective employers. For some companies, this will be the only outside review a budding ad exec will ever see. Even the most subjective rankings generate water cooler chatter, and that's particularly important in the ad biz which makes a considerable chunk of its money based on its ability to do just that. Click to enlarge the charts:

*CEOs with less than 10 reviews
It's no mystery why R/GA and CEO Bob Greenberg come top: The digital shop is on fire and Greenberg is known as a slightly weird bird who prizes innovation. R/GA is probably the most exciting ad agency to work for right now, so even if Greenberg behaved like a martinet he'd still rank relatively highly.

JWT's Jeffrey should not bask too long in his glory -- his rank was based on just nine votes and thus isn't statistically impressive. Nonetheless, his company reviews are healthy enough.

imc2 ought to have the same advantages as R/GA as it's also a digital shop, but based on the Glassdoor comments board management is ruining the business, at least from their employees' point of view. What's interesting about the 24 reviews of imc2 is how consistent they are: Many say it is, or could be, a great place to work but that management is absent, deaf or clueless.

As for Publicis Modem -- ech! The shop got a new CEO, Jean-Philippe Maheu, at the beginning of the year. He ought to pay attention to staff morale, judging by Glassdoor's user comments.


Image by Flickr user amboo who?, CC.