Black Sun (UK) Reviews

Updated 19 Feb 2021

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2.8
40%
Recommend to a Friend
Black Sun (UK) Chief Digital Officer and Managing Director Richard Dixon and Simon Henderson (no image)
Richard Dixon and Simon Henderson
0 Rating
  1. Helpful (3)

    "Please Be Aware of False and Misleading Information"

    5.0
    Current Employee - Senior Talent Manager in London, England

    I have been working at Black Sun (UK) full-time

    Pros

    It is with considerable regret that, as a company and senior management team, we have made a decision to take a small hiatus in our engagement with the Glassdoor website. We want to focus on the initiatives and activities identified through our internal feedback mechanisms as priorities to the business. We have found Glassdoor to be a helpful mechanism for monitoring and responding to feedback from recent and current employees and have fully engaged accordingly. As with any company, not all feedback has been positive but we have welcomed the opportunity to engage in dialogue on all posts. Most importantly, we have taken a hard look into our business to address areas of employee concern, alongside the other feedback mechanisms we have in place, to build a better and more sustainable business for our employees. However, since late December 2020, we have received a number of particularly negative Glassdoor posts. These posts have carried a significant amount of factual inaccuracies combined with personal attacks on individuals within the business. The language and tone of all posts since then have been remarkably similar and come from roles that, in some cases, simply don’t exist. This, and the high frequency of posts in a short period has led us to conclude that not all of this information is genuine and is posing harm to the reputation of our business which we are, in fact, quite proud to work for. As such, we felt the need to post this message to highlight our belief that these messages seek only to undermine our business rather than create effective dialogue and help us to improve. This is not a decision we have taken lightly, as our attempts to respond with factual information in recent reviews have been responded to with a level of narrative that is becoming increasingly untrue. To any current Black Sun employees reading this post, should you have any concerns around your role or ways of working, please engage with your line manager or Talent team through the usual internal channels. We want you to succeed in your role and during your time at Black Sun as much as possible and without your feedback and insight we cannot make the necessary adjustments. To any prospective Black Sun employees, we hope you understand the reasons for our decision but, as a growing business, we do not want these dubious reviews to dissuade anyone from working here. We hope that your experience through any potential recruitment process will provide a more accurate picture of working with us. Please review all posts on Glassdoor prior to December 2020 which we believe is a more representative and accurate view of our company.

    Cons

    Please read the above section.

  2. Helpful (1)

    "Hard but rewarding work"

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

    I have been working at Black Sun (UK) full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    A company that hires great talent, delivers great work and has a fantastic reputation in the marketplace.

    Cons

    It gets very busy, especially during the busy season from January to April.

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  3. COVID-19

    "Friendships made, Career built, Character formed"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Designer in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Black Sun (UK) full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Been a testing year for everyone, in the industry not just in BS. But our managers have continued to do their best to make things work remotely. Everyone has had to adjust – including our clients, but with hi-speed connections, new laptops and lots of support we are as productive as ever. I miss the personal connection with colleagues friends and the workplace camaraderie but the agency has introduced lots of opportunity to engage and develop albeit from a distance. So well done for that! We have some demanding clients and – so our careers are advancing despite lockdown. AND we even got a bonus in 2020!

    Cons

    Employee surveys and things have been helpful, but maybe managers (and even colleagues) could check in more often on a personal basis. Hard to do from a distance I know, but try and show a little more interest in us as individuals rather than a 'team' or a department.

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  4. COVID-19
    Helpful (2)

    "The management do try - the problem is they’re just not that good"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Finance Assistant in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Black Sun (UK) full-time

    Pros

    I do get to work without too much interference from my manager which I personally like. Working from home during the COVID-19 period has been great.

    Cons

    I’ve read the other negative reviews, and although I would tend to agree, I think the main issue is that the key decision makers within the company are too stuck in their ways. The business obviously did very well in the early days but have not innovated or changed over time. The result is somewhere that is too old school for the young people it employs. Like many other people who work here, many of my friends do similar jobs but in different companies - they have modern equipment, all the up to date tools and software and different activities to keep things progressing. Black Sun doesn’t have any of these things and won’t invest in the day-to-day rather than what only makes them money. They stay in the old ways of doing things and then wonder why it doesn’t resonate with people and they can’t understand why there is such a high turnover of staff or why they struggle to recruit. I don’t think the senior managers are bad people, they just seems very lost with what to do and how to communicate with people who are from a different generation. It’s a very ‘keep your head down’ company if you’re like me on the front line with clients.

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  5. Helpful (7)

    "Poorly managed"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Manager in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Black Sun (UK) full-time

    Pros

    Good clients and ambitious projects

    Cons

    Hierarchical and bureaucratic nightmare. Patronising senior management.

    Black Sun (UK) Response

    January 20, 2021Senior HR Talent Manager

    Thank you for your review. We are always appreciative of feedback so that we can continue to improve. While I am sorry to hear that your experience with Black Sun wasn’t positive, I feel confident that the challenges of last year have pushed us to be innovative and progress many areas of our business. I hope that you remain safe and healthy, and that your new career opportunities give you what you are looking for. Best, Holly Smith

  6. Helpful (1)

    "A constant pattern of bad behaviour from the leadership team"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Director in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Black Sun (UK) full-time

    Pros

    Some of the people are really nice and want to do a good job, but they are let down by a dictatorship mentality from the CEO.

    Cons

    It’s unfortunate as most of the staff are simply burnt out and fed up of the bad practices without being able to change them - no one is allowed a voice to strive for positive change. It all comes down to the way the company is run. There is a CEO who has to control everything, and the other c-suite team are yes people with no opinion of their own. It’s a very corporate environment even though it’s a tiny business with the CEO and leadership team genuinely believing the egos they have built up over the years. You’ll get on well at Black Sun if you agree with them, if you don’t be prepared to be frustrated and to not have any job satisfaction. My advice to anyone looking to join would be to carefully consider what you’re looking for from your job. If it’s just for the pay check go for it as none of the leadership team are very competent so you won’t need to deliver to a high standard to impress, but if you want pride, passion and to be inspired I would look elsewhere. It probably suits a first job rather than someone who is looking to gain valuable skills for the more respected agencies.

  7. Helpful (3)

    "Staff or now leaving in droves, for a very good reason"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Vice President Senior Digital Strategist in Hemel Hempstead, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Black Sun (UK) full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    If you are in the senior leadership then the bonus scheme is fantastic, but only those over the £100k pinch point. Some members of staff are amazing and the type to be headhunted very quickly.

    Cons

    For the staff under that threshold, the senior leadership made us aware that staff tend to leave or be dismissed after they arrive at the end of their useful life here at Black Sun. There is no value to retention as the view is that there is always a pool of good people waiting to start. There are over 40 reviews of Black Sun and I can't help but to agree that it can be a terrible place for mental health due to the pressure and conformity expected by the leadership team. The Digital offering although good in intentions, is underdeveloped and unsophisticated as compared to most of the other agencies out there. Thats why we focus on the print side. The surveys are no indication of change as people fill them out with the answers that the leadership want to hear, and this has been going on for years as a way for management to pat themselves on the back to say how great they have improved working conditions. Talking to clients they are also aware of the internal issues, by some unprofessional arguments within client meetings conducted by team members on calls. There really is no justification of how their staff turnover rates are at almost 50% in a year and year on year. Coming from the leadership team who orchestrated this environment it would be good to see what the company could possible respond to. I think all employees deserve an public apology by the Chairman for they way they are tossed aside if they try to push back on ideas and end up very quickly being asked to leave.

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  8. COVID-19
    Helpful (4)

    "Not good"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Account Manager in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Black Sun (UK) full-time

    Pros

    It’s a nice building to work in when you’re in the office, plus before the Covid days they offered a basic breakfast on a Friday.

    Cons

    I can only agree with the other negative reviews. * Poor CEO and leadership team. * Long hours for no extra reward or gratitude. * Very high turn over of staff. There’s a lot of unhappy people here. * Not a great place to learn new skills as the people that set the ways of working have been here for so long they are out of touch. I would also add that the digital offering is extremely basic, it’s very simple websites and landing pages with no innovation or creativity. The good people have long gone as they they couldn’t make any changes. A lot of clients tend to only use Black Sun for the printed reporting and go elsewhere for their digital needs. Lastly I would say it’s all very good doing employee surveys, but you only need to listen to the office gossip after the survey has been sent to know most people just tell them what they want to hear to avoid the backlash. It’s a real shame as some people do want to push things forward but just aren’t allowed.

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  9. COVID-19
    Helpful (2)

    "OMG, worst decision I ever made joining this outdated and old-fashioned company."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Designer in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Black Sun (UK) full-time

    Pros

    It’s been a job during the COVID crisis. As soon as that ends I’m moving on (like I imagine some others will).

    Cons

    Joined and instantly realised it wasn’t for me. Completely old-fashioned business model and ways of working. Management don’t seem to know anything about processes, communication, technology and industry standard practises. My advice to anyone thinking of joining would to hold out for a different agency and one that you can learn in and feel proud of the work to do. The CEO is arrogant and clueless. He acts like he’s above everyone and addresses people like they’re stupid. Get use to being a ‘yes’ person and not allowed any opinion of your own if it’s different to his - you can’t challenge anything. He needs to move on - although that will never happen as he owns most of the company. None of the other senior management will say anything, spending most of their time not wanting to disagree and instead sucking up to him. Plenty of examples of people that try to get new ideas through, only to give up and leave. If you look at the online profiles of management you’ll see how long they’ve been here.

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    Black Sun (UK) Response

    January 28, 2021Senior HR Talent Manager

    Thank you for your review. I am saddened to hear that you feel Black Sun was a mistake for your career development and progression. We pride ourselves on giving people across the business opportunities to learn and grow. We also have been fortunate to have a long-standing leadership team, who receive quite high favourability scores in our quarterly surveys (77% and above). These surveys allow us to understand how the business is feeling, and as you know, we share these results to be as transparent as possible. Included in this, is the 75% favourable score for our communications to employees. As a current employee, I encourage you to reach out to your manager, and if you do not feel comfortable doing so, please set up some time with myself so that we can discuss and collaborate on some solutions. Best, Holly Smith

  10. Helpful (3)

    "Great place!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Design Director in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Black Sun (UK) full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great team and knowledgeable people doing great work

    Cons

    Can be very busy at times

    Continue reading

    Black Sun (UK) Response

    October 19, 2020Senior HR Talent Manager

    Thank you for taking the time to post a review. I am delighted that you enjoyed your time at Black Sun and I wish you the very best for you and your future. Best David

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