Author Topic: What is it like to work at Adfero or Axonn Media?  (Read 8962 times)

disgruntledadfero

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What is it like to work at Adfero or Axonn Media?
« on: January 12, 2013, 09:03:49 PM »
I've written this with aspiring writers who are thinking about working at Adfero or Axonn Media in mind, although I would imagine it's also useful for people who are considering hiring Adfero or DirectNews or NewsReach or Axonn Media to support their SEO campaigns. I spent over a year working for them, and I'm keeping this anonymous because I still want to use them as a reference.

I originally SEOd this with the intention of 'working at Adfero' SEO-ing in mind, but a little research indicates that they've changed their name to Axonn Media and are advertising jobs at Axonn Media with this moniker. So if you're considering working at Axonn Media, this is entirely relevant. Axonn Media appears to be Adfero's way of avoiding the negative results that come up when you Google for information about them. If you want to do some proper research, look for information about Adfero as well as working at Axonn Media.

The economy is in the dumps and graduates are ten-a-penny, so if you want to get into writing, you'll probably discover nobody wants to hire you. If it looks like a choice between working at Axonn Media or working in an unskilled job that will not give you any writing experience, I would heavily suggest Axonn Media. I've read bloggers who have turned down a job at Adfero because of the horror stories online and are now toiling away on a shop floor, and personally, I think they made the wrong decision. But if it's a choice between Axonn Media or any other writing work, tell Axonn Media to get lost. An Axonn Media content writer is one of the worst writing jobs in the world - the only positive aspect is that it is a writing job.

Anyway, without further ado:

Applying

I got the online assessment, which was pretty simple. They then took me to the office and we did some psychometric testing and had a presentation, and then a few weeks later I had an interview.

In the interview, I told them that I loved writing and that I really wanted the job and that I would complete my required workload no-matter-what. I also lied about SEO experience.

Overview

Working hours are 8 till 5, with an hour's break for lunch at a time of your choosing. The office is open-plan and set into desks, each of which handles the news feeds for a select number of clients. Eventually, you'll be writing the equivalent of around 24 150-200 word stories (plus headlines and title tags and meta-data and other stuff), or 12 300-400 worders, every day. This means you'll be penning almost 5,000 words in 8 hours - after a year, you'll have written more than a million words, or around the same amount of text as there is in all seven Harry Potter novels.

You will be tasked with sourcing and writing industry news for corporate websites, all of which will be optimised for search engines. The primary purpose of your role is to increase the Google PageRank of your particular clients' webpages, although the businesses will also want your content to be well-written, relevant and engaging.

Essentially, it is a 'churnalism' role and you will work in a 'content farm', although the company probably thinks of itself with slightly loftier words.

The wage is somewhat derisory, at £16k p/a, and this rises to £16.5k after six months. If you ever want to see this figure edge above £20k (probably what your peers are earning), you'll have to work there for fucking ages. You have to complete certain tasks to rise up the corporate ladder and there are actually documents that tell you exactly what you need to do. You also have to have worked there for a particular period of time to be eligible for these positions.

Starting out

In your first week working at Axonn Media, you'll read the induction booklets and do some tests. Then at the start of your second week, you'll start taking on feeds. Within a month, the number of feeds will have increased until you're working at full capacity. Initially, you will almost certainly not be able to complete your workload within eight hours, and will work through your lunchbreak and at home in the evening to catch up. I'm still quite resentful of the fact that I used to work for 10 or 11 hours every day, five days a week, for £16k p/a.

You should probably have gotten to grips with the volume of content by the end of your three month probation and you'll find that you've actually got time for lunch. After a year, you'll be speeding through your work and you might even be able to squeeze some freelance stuff and idle browsing into your office hours. But to begin with, the task at hand seems impossible and the stress is unbelievable.

Also, you'll initially have your Desk Head sub-editing your work, and they'll be really anal about it fitting into the company's 'style'. Y'see where I put a comma before the 'and' there? That is forbidden. Once you enter 'the subbing loop', you can let standards slide a little, although you will have to undergo 'quality control' evaluations periodically.

Going crazy

The style guide used to be really restrictive, although I think they've loosened it up a little now. When I started out, you weren't allowed to repeat the same word in a story, which led to pieces reading really awkwardly. If I wrote 'people' once, the next time I'd have to use 'individuals', then 'men and women' or 'members of the public' or 'Brits' or 'Britons'. I'd write about housing, and I'd have to use 'real estate', 'property', 'households', 'dwellings', or for employees you'd say 'workers', personnel', 'members of staff' - Adfero would literally force you to write something awful, because someone who knows nothing about creative writing implemented a blanket ban on repetition.

Furthermore, the office was silent. This wasn't deliberate - it's probably because it's rare for two people to be taking 'down time' at the same time. I'd just read the news or whatever when I was taking a break, and you can't hold a conversation when you're typing so most of the time, nobody is talking. For the first year of my employ, we didn't even have a radio, and when we got one, it was impossible to hear it over the clatter of keyboards. Eight hours of keyboard clatter and hardly any talking is really difficult to deal with after a few months.

That's not to say that you don't talk to your colleagues at all - there's still conversation. It's not 'lonely'. But there might be a total of 20 minutes of chatter every day.

For some reason unknown to everyone who worked in the office, there was a smart dress code, despite the fact that we never saw a client or a member of the public. On Fridays, they let us come in wearing casual clothes, but there is no good reason that we had to wear shirts and suit pants and smart shoes the rest of the time.

Furthermore, it is impossible to book time off. If one person on the desk has booked a holiday, nobody else can because their work needs covering, and there could be seven people on your desk. Holiday days are snapped up instantly, so if your girlfriend says, "lets have a long weekend at the end of this month," you will likely be unable to agree. And if there are too many holiday days in a certain month, they'll stop anyone else taking one. If you phone in sick, you'll be expected to work from home.

Workload

As I said earlier, I was expected to write 24 news stories every day. These were to be SEO friendly and to meet the exacting standards of the client's brief and the Adfero style guide. This means that essentially, you get five minutes to actually find a (new) news story about radiator panels or wooden flooring or whatever the client sells, alongside an additional (older) story for 'context', and about ten minutes to plagiarise the shit out of it so it's unique and therefore better for SEO. Then you do this three times an hour, then take 15 minutes to rest your fingers and sub-edit someone else's work. Then repeat eight times a day, five days a week, for the foreseeable future.

Some months have 22 working days in them, while others have 20. You will have the exact same amount of work to do during both months, but ten per cent less time to complete it some of the time. You will notice this.

You'll spend all your time in an office chair staring at a computer screen. While this doesn't seem very challenging, it won't be long until you're experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome and a bad back and until your gut expands. You'll only move around when you're getting a coffee or going to the toilet.

Apparently Adfero charges its clients a fortune, but it pays its staff a pittance and condemns them to penury. Any companies considering taking on DirectNews to write two stories a day in their feed should think about actually hiring an in-house copywriter and paying them just as much. You'll get a better quality of service and a far better SEO and online marketing campaign. There are hundreds of fresh-faced English grads and aspiring journos looking for work - hire one of these people instead.

Final thoughts

While the workload is massive and the subject matter is almost always incredibly boring, it wasn't the endless typing that made me hate working at Adfero - as you can tell from this post, I don't mind typing endlessly. It was the little things, like the quiet office, the dress code and the shitty wage that did it.

But I am now in a far better position than I would have been had I turned my nose up at the job. It gave me a foothold on the ladder and valuable experience in online writing and SEO, as well as the ability to write a metric shittonne of words in as little time as possible. These skills have all proven to be very useful and my experience as a content writer has opened up a lot of doors, and when they initially gave me the job, I was earning a crust cleaning hotel bedrooms. So if you're thinking of shelving your ambitions of writing for a living, fire off a CV to Adfero, and if that doesn't work, fire off another one. But plan to leave as quickly as possible, or you'll put your mental and physical health at risk.


I admittedly didn't write this with this forum in mind, but didn't want to put it on a blog that could be traced back to me. However, I'm more than happy to answer any questions anyone has to ask.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 11:05:55 AM by disgruntledadfero »

KarenWebber

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Re: What is it like to work at Adfero or Axonn Media?
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2013, 09:57:24 AM »
I'm responding to this post in a personal capacity, but in the interests of transparency, I want to make it clear I've worked for this company for the past 8 years and am currently employed as Head of Marketing Communications.
 
I'm going to ignore the subjective comments in this post - it's obvious who has written this and while not everyone who leaves the company does so on good terms, you're entitled to your opinion. However, I want to address the main factual inaccuracies, misunderstandings and outdated information for the benefit of people reading this.

Rebrand
 
The company was rebranded because we have evolved from being an online news provider (Adfero comes from the Latin for 'bringing news') into a provider of numerous content marketing services, including dozens of different content types, thought leadership, off-page optimisation, research, monitoring and reporting, to name just a few. Adfero was no longer an appropriate name for a business that has evolved with a rapidly changing industry.
 
The job
 
SEO is a common goal for our clients, but it isn't the only or most important objective for a significant proportion of our clients. Content is tailored in order to achieve each client's unique objectives.

Your comments about the Oxford comma and a blanket rule on repetition are bonkers. There may have been overzealous subbers in the past who tried to enforce their own grammatical beliefs, but we have run numerous "myth busting" training sessions in the last few years to dispel these. In the end it's about the flow of the copy, and whether what you've written makes sense or not.

Your explanation of how you go about creating a piece of content shows how clueless you are about the content we produce. If this is how you went about creating content for your clients, I for one am very glad you no longer work for us, as it is clear you were a liability. We produce content in a far more sophisticated way than this.

Content writers are given 8 weeks (not 6) to build up to full capacity, with flexibility built in to accommodate those that are finding it harder to adapt to the workload. Probationary period is three months, not six months (unless it is extended).

The way resourcing is worked out is changing, but for the last 4/5 years, it was worked out based on a 20-day month. That meant that in longer months, you had more time to produce the content required.
 
Employment details
 
In terms of pay, writers can realistically increase their pay to over £18k within a year of joining without having to go into management. In fact, there are promotional opportunities for people with 6 months' experience that pay over £20k.

The content writer role is advertised as a starting position with a salary to match. There are lower-paid writing jobs out there and we do not expect people to stay in the content writer role forever. Even if people do not apply for promotions but continue to gain experience and learn new skills in the writing role, they are likely to see their pay increase by over a fifth within 2 years of joining.

The dress code has been relaxed and since the start of this year it is smart casual. People who phone in sick are definitely not expected to work from home. Ever. This is plainly untrue.

 
Charging a fortune
 
Ha ha ha. I'm happy to give anyone who contacts me personally (and not anonymously!) a rundown of prices for our services and you can decide for yourself.

Karen Webber
@webber_karen

disgruntledadfero

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Re: What is it like to work at Adfero or Axonn Media?
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2013, 02:13:02 PM »
Hi Karen,

Quote
Your comments about the Oxford comma and a blanket rule on repetition are bonkers.

Just to provide some evidence for my points, here's quotes from the Style Guide.

"Repetition
A word or phrase should not be repeated in the same sentence or in consecutive paragraphs if it can be easily replaced by a suitable synonym, or if it is a particularly unusual word.

However, use your judgement to avoid changing a word for the sake of it at the expense of quality copy."

"Commas
Too many commas in a sentence obscure the meaning and it is often suggested that they are used to reflect the pauses that occur for breath in the spoken word. The primary function of commas is to separate phrases that, taken individually, cannot all be self-contained sentences in their own right.

In addition, they can act in pairs as parentheses in a similar way to brackets and dashes to cordon off 'asides' within a sentence that could be skipped without compromising the meaning of the sentence.

In lists, commas occur between all the items listed, apart from the last one, which has 'and' before it. The only exception to this rule is when one of the items in the list features the word 'and', when a comma appears before the final 'and' and last item. This is the only case where you should use a comma before 'and'."

An article written by Adfero (not me - just in case I'm hampering any other ex-employee's credentials and I found it by Googling 'Adfero' "Members of the public".)

http://www.spirehealthcare.com/patient-information/health-news/healthcare/801396783-the-rise-and-fall-of-nhs-walk-in-centres/

As you can see, the article-writer used the word 'people' once in the quoted from health minister Simon Burns. The word 'people' does not appear in the article again, however synonyms 'members of the public' and 'Brits' are used in its place.

Another one:

http://www.spirehealthcare.com/patient-information/health-news/healthcare/801381528-home-based-care-cuts-a-dangerous-move-/

Here's what I dredged up Googling 'adfero dwellings households' - check the synonyms for 'houses'. :

http://news.swiftcover.com/do-not-advertise-homes-to-burglars-this-summer/

"Brits should not advertise their dwellings to burglars when they go on holiday..." That first line is exactly what I was talking about. I hope I have adequately demonstrated that I was not making up lies to denigrate the company when referring to repetition or the Oxford Comma.

Quote
If this is how you went about creating content for your clients, I for one am very glad you no longer work for us, as it is clear you were a liability

It is understandable Karen would say this, because she is defending her company. However, I was an awesome content writer, exactly what Adfero wanted and then some. If you would like to know what Karen Webber thinks of working at Adfero, I'm more than happy to direct you to this (more positive) blog post she wrote: http://blog.directnews.co.uk/2011/10/working-for-adfero-insiders-view.html

As far as the amount of content that has to be written and the short amount of time there is to write it, and whether I was actually creating content in an unusual / unexpected / lazy way that went against the ethos of the company, simply search for the experiences of other content writers online. In fact, I've done it for you. Much of the content online about Axonn or Adfero slates them far worse than I would and I make no statements about the agreeability of any of these commenters.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/15122542757/

"I estimated that they left around five minutes for SOURCING an article, 5 minutes for READING the article, and like ten minutes for writing it."

"Since leaving Adfero I've had my articles reproduced by Adfero employees writing for their 'publication' with hideous quotes and massive errors. I don't blame the person writing them but I do blame Adfero. They put too much pressure on staff and impose unrealistic and ridiculous time frames for writing articles. They prey on graduates who dream of a career in journalism."

http://www.gradjobsuncovered.com/Job_Reviews-7A7E5-Graduate_Scheme_Review-Publishing_Journalism_Languages-Adfero-Writer.html

"The workload and long hours mean that I often find myself working an extra hour or two a day and not getting a lunch break."

http://phronesisseo.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/one-year-of-providence.html

"Flash forwards from 2006 to 2011, and the expected output had climbed to around 30-32 articles - that's four news stories, sourced and researched to fit the client brief, written, edited for publication and uploaded directly to the client's website, in each working hour of the day.

I stuck it out for as long as I could, but in June 2011 I resigned from Adfero DirectNews (you may know them as ContentPlus, NewsReach, or simply under the name 'News Feeds', as they'd just rebranded when I left)."

http://phronesisseo.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/adfero-directnews.html

"For those of you interested in my personal experience - I estimate I wrote roughly 25,000 news articles of 150-200 words each over my almost-five years at Adfero." - Five million words, one million per year.

http://www.journalism.co.uk/journalists/forum/index.php?topic=1765.0

"This outfit has a long established record of exploitation slavedriving its workforce to churn out as much copy  as they can in the time available for pathetically derisory wages: 16K pa in London...no wonder the owner has made millions."

"No lie though, it is hard work and yes, 24 short stories per day is quite normal," a defender of the company later said in that thread. 24 stories / day, eight hours / day = 3 stories / hour. 20 minutes a story. If you can think of a "far more sophisticated way" to source, produce and upload a 200 word story in 20 minutes than the way I did it, I would be delighted to hear about it. 

As far as calling in sick and being expected to work from home - it is totally true. Take my word for it - I've been honest up to now. What would I have to gain from lying? I already advised people to take a job at Axonn Media if they're struggling to find similar employment - I have no intentions of deceiving them or misleading them as to the nature of the job. Although Karen Webber is trying to portray me as someone with a bee in my bonnet, my opinions are widely shared among other employees.

Don't believe me, or think I've cherry-picked data? Do your own research.

It is good to hear the dress code has been relaxed, however. And I think I've anonymised this enough - I'd be surprised (and annoyed) if you could tell who it is and I left the company on good terms quite a long time ago. I know there's a rapid turnover of employees and I don't want anyone (innocent) getting screwed over because of this post. If I get screwed over, I deserve it. :)


...

Just to say, a newsroom could not hope for a better workforce than the staff at Adfero / Axonn. I was always amazed at the dedication of the staff and the volume of content produced. Axonn should be very proud of its workers - without exception, they were intelligent, hard-working and tenacious. If anyone who reads this is considering a CV that lists 'working at Adfero' under its experience, they should certainly consider the applicant.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 10:45:33 AM by disgruntledadfero »

disgruntledadfero

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Re: What is it like to work at Adfero or Axonn Media?
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2013, 03:25:38 PM »
By the way, I am now working for a company that actually decided to hire an in-house copywriter after an Adfero-sales guy (claiming to work for Direct News rather than Adfero, but they're one and the same) offered the company's SEO services for around £1,000 per month for a tiny amount of content, and after looking into Adfero the company realised they could receive far more effective services by hiring a copywriter themselves.

See for that £1,000 a month, an Adfero content writer would spend approximately 40 minutes a day working on their feeds. For £2,000 a month, the same person could spend 8 hours a day working on their content in-house, giving them a far more bespoke and effective service. And the content writer would be earning 50% more than they would at Adfero / Axonn Media.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 03:27:34 PM by disgruntledadfero »

disgruntledadfero

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Re: What is it like to work at Adfero or Axonn Media?
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2013, 11:58:12 AM »
As if on cue, the Guardian has just published an article repeating many of the things I've said. And it is strange that a company would spend all these years building up a reputation under one brand, only to change it.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jan/31/adam-afriyie-profile-tory-plot-rumours

BobBardsley

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Re: What is it like to work at Adfero or Axonn Media?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2013, 10:12:48 AM »
Hi all.

First of all, I'm trying to distance myself from that article wherever possible. It's not what I said to the Guardian this week, it's an uncited, plagiarised extract from a blog post I wrote in July 2011 that I did not give them permission to use. When asked about my time at Adfero (they contacted me, not the other way around) I gave them a link to the post, but it was not mentioned or discussed in our telephone interview, and I never told them (and they never asked) that they could use any part of it directly in their article.

In addition, I told them I could only give them a balanced description of Adfero as a now-outsider, and was not prepared to tell them anything that wasn't already a matter of public record. I told them that if they wanted a more sensational quote, I could direct them to individuals who have gone on record in the past with a strong negative view of Adfero - they refused this offer. Like many of the other 'facts' in their article, the comment is outdated and out of context.

As regards the discussion immediately at hand - if we're discussing the style guide on a public forum (and I'm assuming it's OK to do so if Karen has), then during my time at the company I would certainly say the comma-and rule was strictly enforced, and not only by over-zealous subbers. I would definitely have flagged up non-compliant use of a comma-and as an error in quality control assessments, and I believe other 'desk heads' would have done so too.

There was also the ingenious rule that stated "environmentally-friendly is a compound adjective and should always be hyphenated" (or words to that effect) with total disregard for the grammatical conventions that are attached to adverbs. As far as I know, that rule was never revoked during my Adfero career, although perhaps it has been in the two years or so since I left. If the comments in the original post about the style guide are "bonkers", then it is only because certain of the style guide rules were, well, bonkers in their own right.

I fully agree with Karen about the reasons for the rebrand, although obviously I'm speaking as an outsider with no specific knowledge about those reasons coming from the inside. In fact, the only thing I said to the Guardian this week that they actually used was the line about Leveson. I absolutely did not intend that to imply that Adfero/Axonn Media have anything to hide or to fear on that front, but coupled with the company's general shift towards multiple media types, and not just news, I think there's a reasonable case for the change in name. Again, sadly, the Guardian opted not to quote me in full on that aspect of our interview (and the line they used, attributed to me, came not from the interview, but from a later email I sent to their reporter when he was probing for more information about why I thought Adfero had chosen to change their name).

I absolutely do not believe that it is realistic to say that people's salaries increase by a fifth within two years without them being promoted. Unless that relates to some kind of bonus scheme that's been introduced since I left, or a significant change in company policy. Again though, it is some time since I left Adfero, and I'm only saying that as personal opinion since it seems these things are being discussed on a public forum with current employees. A salary increase of a fifth would take somebody from £16,000 to £19,200 in two years. I can't see that being likely at any company, particularly if that individual hadn't at least tried to get promoted in the interim. But if you can show me somebody who has worked at Adfero for two years, has not been promoted, and is not on a bonus scheme, and their salary is £19,200 or more, I'm fully prepared to change my mind on that point.

Ultimately, this: I did not provide the Guardian with an interview that was anywhere close to the way they reported my comments. I chose to leave Adfero because I no longer felt that my job was 'worth it'; I expect this is the same reason the vast majority of people choose to leave their jobs. However, I truly believe that, if the terms of employment are mutually agreeable, anybody should be free to work for anybody they wish, on those mutually agreeable terms. It is not for any of us to aim criticism at private companies and private individuals for the terms on which they do business, as long as they are compliant with the law. If you don't like it, get out. That's what I did. I fully appreciate the opportunities given to me by Adfero - including the ones I did not take, like the option of company-supported study towards the NCTJ qualification. They give people a chance who have no demonstrable experience - and that is not criticism of the employees, but praise of the recruitment process. It's fair and open-minded, and utterly transparent in the description of the role that is given to applicants.

I could go on - there's plenty of positives to say about Adfero, but it seems people only want to hear the negatives. Even the prescriptive style guide is no bad thing - rules should be enforced to maintain quality, and the vast array of errors in the Guardian article is testament to that - it's just that a couple of those rules were debatable at times. I'm frankly mortified by the way I've been reported, inaccurately, out of context, out of line with the comments I actually provided to the reporter. It seems particularly ironic for that to have occurred in an article discussing the relative merits of 'good' news.

D.J

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Re: What is it like to work at Adfero or Axonn Media?
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2013, 03:20:14 PM »
The mention of this company brings back a memory to me from a few years ago, when I was looking for a job and applied to Adfero.  I was called for an interview, but, being from overseas and not having the money to make a few trips, I asked if the whole interview process would be covered in one day.  I was assured that this would be the case so booked my flight along with a hotel nearby.

As it turned out, we did the psychometric testing first of all, then we were asked to write a few pieces, much the same as the online assessment so I'm not sure what the point of doing it again was.  But that was the end of the day and we were told that we would be called another day for the interviews.  I asked the person in charge about what I was told, and to be fair to her she asked around about it, but there was no one available to interview me at that time. 

Now, it's not that I have a problem with the process as such, but surely I could have been told before I got there that it wasn't possible to cover everything in one day instead of causing a waste of my time and money?  I was told on the phone specifically that the interviews as well as the tests would all be conducted on the day, but instead had to leave that day knowing that even if I was called back for the interviews, I would not be able to do it.  If this is a measure of how the company conducts itself, no wonder that there is so much criticism around it.

Anastasia_janulina

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Re: What is it like to work at Adfero or Axonn Media?
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2013, 10:53:08 AM »
In response to the disgruntled guy who started the post and for the benefit of anyone who is reading this thread or doing a research into Axonn Media/Adfero . I am an ex employee at Adfero. Worked there for almost 4 years and can honestly say that i have never worked for a better company.
To cross the T's and dot the I's - firstly they do not discriminate against women and were more than supportive when i went on a maternity leave exceeding all my expectations.
Secondly, yes they do employ workaholics - there is nothing wrong about being passionate and a tendency to go overboard occasionally to meet and exceed standards in quality - is by far nothing to be ashamed of.
To your comment about working late hours minimal pay etc etc, guess what i worked until the very last moment before my baby was due. Literally. i finished my shift and gave birth a few hours later - that is called dedication to your job. If you enjoy it you do it, you set your own personal goals and standards not slack behind and moan when something is out of your tempo.
I left on very good terms and would recommend the company to anyone who is not afraid to work, to anyone who has enough balls to rise up to the challenge. Do you think if you had a company of your own with your rules and standards and goals and you trusted in somebody, so you gave that person a job and he decides that it is not what he wants to do, that it is not a holiday but actual work is required and he leaves eventually disgruntled... what would you as an owner of a business think about this person.?
here is another example... there are so many other jobs that require a lot more unpaid overtime, from nurses to teachers and they deal with patients/students/their families and often end up involved in most horrific family situations that range from child abuse to life hanging by a threat - all that + undervalued pay check + emotional stress that it causes those workers ... they don't complain - it is called GETTING ON WITH YOUR JOB!

So can i just say a final thing. To excel in life excel yourself first. i dont think major players at Bloomberg, Reuters, BBC and other news providers complain like you just did ... it's just petty
Wish you all the best in life

monkey88

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Re: What is it like to work at Adfero or Axonn Media?
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2013, 08:38:17 AM »
Each ex-Adfero/Axonn employee either has a good or bad experience of working there it seems.

I worked there in 2011-12 and hated every minute of it.

In saying that, many colleagues were lovely and fun (once we got to know each other during Friday night drinks, as there was no time throughout the working day).

I applied, got a call inviting me to a test and interview. I was told that I would be expected to write 5,000 words or 25 'news' articles per day and to do so within 6 weeks of starting work.

How hard can that be, right? WRONG.

The catch was that I had to also come up with an idea/news story, research and double-source a story - as well as write the piece, edit it, send it off for sub-editing, research a picture and upload it live onto the content system - all within 15-20 minutes.  Then keep doing this until I have completed my quota of 25 or so articles for the day.

You are also expected to additionally sub-edit a colleague's 25 articles per day, and that means if you don't your colleague will fall behind, so the pressure is on you to do it asap so they can upload their work.

Sure there is a super steep learning curve at the beginning of the job, however there is nothing more soul-destroying for me than to slave away, and by that I mean no lunch breaks, deferring toilet breaks for as along as possible, as well as having no time to talk.

Did I mention that if someone was off sick and they could not work from home or were on holidays, their workload was shared amongst us, adding to ours. I'm telling you it was miserable work.

Almost every week we had a writer leave until it was my turn.

Here's the clincher though - all that pain, stress and 12 hour days amounted to being paid only 17k. Yes you read right. That's about 8 quid an hour, BEFORE TAX.

There were a couple of writers who wanted to group together and join a union to make Adfero/Axonn treat its writing staff better, however the others were too afraid to do this for fear of losing their job. I would have joined a union, but by that stage, I decided to leave the company anyway, I was totally fed up and exhausted.

People working for the company say it has made improvements of late, but unless they pay a lot more and the workload decreases (which has not happened), I can't see why having a 'chill out' room is useful if you don't have time to chill out....

Considering the account managers at Adfero/Axonn are being paid 28k or more, I don't see why the writers are paid a pittance  - even though they provide the content and results for clients - and work like dogs in the process.

There were a few, and by that I mean 2 or 3, who actually enjoyed the job - the rest of us were always on the lookout for other opportunities, including our team leaders.

It's seriously the worst paid and horrible job out there, but if you have no other choice, it's something for the CV - but I wouldn't stay longer than 6 months - and that's pushing it.

Prepare to be bored, tired and poor for as long as you're there.

I have no reason to make this up, I'm just letting people know what the truth is working for Adfero/Axonn. Just know what you're getting into if you do decide to go for it.

And DO NOT believe the crap spun by Adfero/Axonn PR/marketing people trying to limit the damage of ex-employee posts - I know for a fact they work less hard and get paid way more than Adfero/Axonn writers. We were ALWAYS the last ones to leave work everyday.

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Re: What is it like to work at Adfero or Axonn Media?
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2014, 03:22:50 PM »
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