Google examined WeWork search results and reportedly found ‘the most alarming negative sentiment trends’ it’s seen for such a company

  • Google analysed WeWork searches last month and found that online sentiment about the company was so negative that it would be impossible to fix with ads, New York magazine’s Intelligencer news site reported on Monday.
  • WeWork’s US marketing head told colleagues that online opinion was so bad that Google had discovered “the most alarming negative sentiment trends they have seen” compared with other companies, Intelligencer reported.
  • Just over a month later, WeWork had gone from a highly valued startup to a company facing bankruptcy.
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When the head of US marketing for the beleaguered startup WeWork met with Google representatives in August ⁠- weeks before it would seek investors in an initial public offering ⁠- the coworking giant learned that its online sentiment was alarmingly negative, Reeves Wiedeman reported for New York magazine’s Intelligencer news site on Monday.

Google had analysed search data for WeWork to go over WeWork’s advertising plan and found there was no love lost between WeWork and the online community, according to Intelligencer.

WeWork’s US marketing head told colleagues in an email that Google found WeWork to have “the most alarming negative sentiment trends they have seen compared to prior companies in similar situations,” Wiedeman reported.

So though WeWork had been on an upward trajectory for nearly a decade, any effort to buy ads to combat all the negative online content would “blow through our weekly paid search budget in a few hours,” the marketing head wrote, according to Intelligencer.

The meeting on August 22 occurred not long after WeWork’s IPO filing went up on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website – when the public saw the company’s finances for the first time.

A flood of negative press followed, leading the controversial startup to go from a $US47 billion valuation to talk of bankruptcy.

In recent weeks, WeWork’s board has ousted CEO Adam Neumann. Employees have stepped forward to describe the company as a “never-ending party,” with no boundaries between work and play, Business Insider’s Meghan Morris and Julie Bort reported. And on Monday, WeWork’s new leadership announced that an IPO would be put on hold.

WeWork’s value has declined by more than $US30 billion since the meeting with Google a month ago, Intelligencer reported, and its ambitious goal of going public has yet to be realised.