It sounds like a pretty shit place working for a corp. But of course they aren’t all like that. If your values align with the corporation then being ripped off isn’t a problem. Same with co-operatives (which surprisingly most businesses in NZ are), where you are valued member working towards a common goal.
Yes you have power as a freelancer, but security for most and knowing where that paycheck comes from is the price most of us pay for creativity. Agencies (marketing or design) is another route…and while it’s easier to set yourself up as an agency these days, how many are actually creative there. Again, only a few are in charge of the creative ideas and decision making.
So it boils down to what do you most value?