S3 Advertising

We’re an advertising agency which exists to help those with untapped potential in their pursuit to become the overachievers they deserve to be.
Hidden mission statement
https://s3advertising.agency

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Best Company to work for in the UK
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“Be bold” was the rallying cry of S3's founder. Eleven years later, with a new management team at the helm, the mantra is “Bite big”.

Cardiff-based S3 Advertising is proving that clients don't have to go to large, expensive agencies in London to get powerful results.

The firm began as a three-person start-up based in an attic. Today it has more than 30 staff and a client roster that includes national names but also exciting up-and-coming organisations. The agency champions the little.

S3 has a record of finding and nurturing young talent, as demonstrated by the fact that its four managing partners are long-serving members of the team.

Staff missed the office during lockdown – it is a grown-ups' playground, with a giant ball-pit, golf course, cinema room and plenty of breakout areas for collaboration. But remote working was accompanied by an increase in flexible working hours, an improved sick pay policy and quarterly team-building events. The employee benefits scheme was upgraded to include mental health cover.

S3 challenges staff to never stop learning. All are given membership of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, where they can access courses and attend events. Institute of Leadership & Management qualifications are available to the leadership team, as well as internal training on topics such as best people practices.

Featured Workplace Factors

Leadership

88% of staff agreed

I have confidence in the leadership skills of the senior management team

After lockdown started, the managing partners divided a list of staff names between them and did weekly check-ins. It was an opportunity for employees to take a little time out and talk about whatever was on their mind – anything from the latest advertising trends to Strictly Come Dancing.

My Team

84% of staff agreed

I feel a strong sense of family in my team

Christmas parties are a big thing at S3, and the pandemic didn't stop the fun. Staff were given vouchers to buy drinks and snacks for the online party, which included a magician. A thank you gift was added to their December pay packet, recognising their efforts during a tough year.

Giving Something Back

76% of staff agreed

This organisation has a strong social conscience

After lockdown started, S3 took over a billboard space in Cardiff for month for its #CelebratingCreativity campaign. The billboard carried a series of ads, designed by agency staff, thanking people for the creative ways they were responding to Covid-19. Public nominations for the ads included whole streets doing sing-a-longs.

Quick Facts

Organisation established in
2009
Total number of employees
1
Number of UK locations
31
Employee average age
61% : 39%
Male : Female employee ratio
19%
Employees earning £35k+
9%
Employee turnover (voluntary)

Benefits

Holidays

Companies offering a minimum of 26 days annual leave to all employees.

Pensions

Companies offering a final salary scheme to all employees, or one in which the employer's contribution is at least 5%.

Private Healthcare

Companies offering private health insurance to all employees.

List Positions

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Quote from the top...
“S3 is built on its small-but-big philosophy, Where the Little Bite Big, which means when it comes to our staff, we encourage them to take bold steps no matter their background. Our agency is made up of people from all walks of life, including recent graduates, ex-journalists, plucky locals, agency veterans and everything in between. They are the life and soul of our business and without them, we wouldn’t exist. So, receiving ‘Ones To Watch’ accreditation is a testament to our belief that we have the most loyal and invested people any organisation could ask for, and we couldn’t be more thankful. The last year hasn’t been easy, but we’ve been striving to promote a better work/life balance for our staff, which has included the introduction of a ‘blended working policy’, allowing them to work from home or the office, post-COVID. We have also increased flexible working hours, which now stretch from 7am to 7pm, and introduced robust sick pay policies and strengthened private medical insurance plans – which include mental health and wellbeing support. These aren’t just ‘plaster fixes’ to get us through the pandemic. They’re here to stay as we continue striving to show that we value work life no more than our people’s personal lives. A close-knit team with a stand-out ambitious and down-to-earth culture, we want to continue proving you don’t need to go to the ‘big smoke’ – and pay London price tags – to get work that bites big.”

Mel Matthews, Managing Partner - S3 Advertising

Want to work for a Best Company?

If you like what you see and are interested in exploring any opportunities, please visit the organisation's careers page for more information.

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