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For my next move, considering holding companies seem to control raises, which should I avoid? Omnicom? IPG? Or am I better off going to an independent agency? WPP is the worst (IMO)

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Everyone has a different salary limit that triggers corporate approval. WPP is 200k, OMC is 300k, and IPG agencies vary, but are between 350-450k. Hopefully, now that Martin is out at WPP, they’ll raise that cap. But, given their financial performance lately, I wouldn’t bet on it. Also, since you’re already in WPP, the potential raise you can get is capped. I don’t remember what percent it is, but for example: say Grey was in love with you and you’re underpaid in your current role making $85,000. If you should be making $125,000 that $45k increase is almost certainly over the cap. So they can’t give it to you. Meanwhile, if you were out on the street with no ties to WPP, they could give it to you in a second. So, go out of the WPP network

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WPP is the worst. Totally agree. The only way to get around that is to get a salary that you're happy with and know that they won't give a raise anytime soon or ever.

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IPG isn’t bad with raises/promotions. But in all other aspects they suck.

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Just make sure you change holding companies with every move. I’ve worked across all but Omnicom by now and usually see 25-30% bumps vs 5% as a raise with promotion after 1.5 years of killing it... and that was the high mark. But no point in being resentful - just play the game

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Go independent

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Not at Omnicom anymore, but there were never any automatic raises, you had to ask, have the support of your managers and still fight like hell for at the most, $15k. Anything more and you would need to have a competing offer that they might match or get close to. My boss even told me to go out and get an offer so he had some leverage when putting in for the raise, so it’s not like it’s even frowned upon.

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About what CD1 is talking about in case some are not aware how or why that is, there are strict anti poaching policies among the agencies in a network. This btw is also why folks need to negotiate hard at their job offer stage too

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I have worked or freelanced at all of the holding companies and honestly, I think their time is coming up—especially since OMC is moving so many agencies into different buildings again—they’re trying to lower one of their biggest costs: rent. While at an OMC healthcare shop, I scored a fat raise of $40k once and continued to get generous raises while I was there. I’ve gotten my highest hourly rate from a Publicis agency and highest dayrate from a WPP one. The shareholders are killin’ it

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👆🏻 Granted I'm new, but the structure/timing seemed pretty clear to me. Way more cut and dry than say, Ogilvy's bizarre separation of title and promotion schedule. I'm sure it's often delayed/deferred within Publicis like most agencies. I'm curious to know if the WPP raise drought is agency specific. For example, I was at Ogilvy for three years before my raise was "handed down" and then waited another year before it even hit my check. I saw similar, much more egregious stuff happen (that would give me away) too. High performers billing at 200% will sit around for 5+ years without a promo to speak of. Shit is hairy.

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As a former WPP'er, I'm enjoying Publicis' take on wage transparency. I also weirdly drink the Power of One koolaid pretty hard. I've already collaborated cross-network on half the projects I've been on. But our benefits structure isn't as organized/streamlined as it was at WPP.

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Also 25-30 sounds big (and is in absolute terms at my level) but you have to average it out over the 2-4 years you spend in each position as a CAGR calculation.

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