WeWork launches sweeping newspaper ad campaign in 12 major markets to restore confidence in shaken business

  • WeWork is launching a major ad campaign on Friday, two weeks after Maurice Levy was named WeWork’s interim chief marketing officer.
  • The campaign, which features ads that will be printed in a dozen big markets, touts the office company’s people focus. 
  • For more stories about WeWork, click here.

WeWork is running a major ad campaign in print newspapers in a dozen markets starting Friday as the embattled office company tries to win back confidence. 

The campaign kicks off with Friday ads in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, with more papers to follow on Saturday, a source with knowledge of the project said. The campaign, which costs a few hundred thousand dollars, is intended to portray WeWork as forward-thinking and customer-centric.

“The ad is a reminder to the members, companies, landlords and brokers we work with that WeWork is here with the same mission to support our members’ growth and success, and with renewed resolve, a strong foundation, significant scale, and absolute commitment to serving our member and partner needs,” a WeWork representative said in a statement to Business Insider. 

A source who saw the ad firsthand said its copy characterizes WeWork as a company “on the move” and emphasizes its dedication to its people. Another person said WeWork handled media buying strategy for the campaign internally. Omnicom’s PHD is WeWork’s media agency of record.

The ad also highlights WeWork’s footprint. On Thursday, the company said it notched a monthly record number of new buildings opening – 52 in the first five days of December, with more planned before year-end. It now has 625 locations, with more fast growth planned for next year.

The campaign marks the first major publicity effort for Maurice Levy, the company’s interim chief marketing officer who officially joined two weeks ago, along with three other executives. He’s also the chairman of Publicis Groupe, which did the creative. Levy previously worked with WeWork chairman Marcelo Claure when Claure was the CEO of Sprint, a major Publicis customer until Levy stepped down as CEO from the ad conglomerate. 

A representative for Paris-based Publicis Groupe could not immediately be reached for comment.

In October, one of the company’s ads was derided for being tone deaf, Business Insider previously reported. At the time, the company had 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. 

Two weeks ago, the company started major layoffs in the US, which will ultimately claim about 2,400 jobs globally. On Wednesday, former employees told Business Insider they were moving on with networking events and other efforts.

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