- WeWork has at least one promoted ad on LinkedIn offering to advise employers on how to reinvigorate “lagging team morale.”
- Former WeWork employees have called out the startup for its chaotic company culture, which involved partying, long workdays, and high turnover.
- Most other LinkedIn ads promote renting the office’s co-working space.
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WeWork, the embattled co-working platform, wants to help LinkedIn users suffering from low company morale.
A WeWork ad on LinkedIn appeared to promote ways experts can help bring offices “back to life” from disengaged employees and lagging team morale:
On its website, LinkedIn states it targets ads to different audiences, so only a fraction of users saw the ad on their page. Most other ads listed under the company’s LinkedIn page promote the company’s co-working space in multiple languages, given WeWork’s presence in 29 countries.
The promoted ad advising on “lagging company morale” comes as many WeWork employees have called out the startup’s chaotic work culture. Business Insider reached out to WeWork for comment.
Former and current employees — from cleaners to higher-up managers — spoke of the company’s tequila-fueled party culture and long work days. Employees told Business Insider’s Julie Bort and Meghan Morris of alleged sexual harassment from company executives, resulting in at least one employee lawsuit for gender discrimination.
Other WeWork employees spoke of the “truly, truly insane” company turnover. Three former employees said every new month they received a new manager.
The company’s reputation has soured employees so much, many worry having WeWork on their resume is a “black mark against them.”
The WeWork posted their ad on lagging team morale to LinkedIn two weeks ago, following its botched IPO filing and around the time news reports began detailing the CEO Adam Neumann’s idiosyncratic management style.
Even before the recent company controversy, at least two Twitter users complained of seeing too many WeWork sponsored ads on LinkedIn:
“Every day I report to LinkedIn that I do not want to see another ad about WeWork, and the next day, if not the next hour, I am bombarded with WeWork sponsored posts again,” Eric Di Benedetto, a private investor, tweeted in January. “What a stupid use of VC money!!!” (Di Benedetto declined to comment for this article).
—Eric Di Benedetto (@ericdibenedetto) January 19, 2019
—Troy Norcross (@troy_norcross) January 5, 2016
On its website, LinkedIn states its sponsored ads are meant to target specific audiences on the site to promote a business or product. LinkedIn states its audience has double the amount of buying power as the average web audience, presumably given the white-collar professionals that use the service.
The cost of putting ads on LinkedIn depend on how much engagement your ads get and which audiences you want to target. Companies “bid” to put ads on the site in an auction where the highest offer gets to place their content.
Per its advertising policy, LinkedIn will remove ads that are “offensive to good taste,” meaning hateful, vulgar, sexual, or violent. Posts that are initially approved can be later taken down as LinkedIn “updates its policies to reflect new laws.”