Anti-Airbnb ad accuses company of making the rich richer
An anti-Airbnb group is rolling out a new TV commercial that accuses the apartment-rental site of lining the pockets of greedy fat cats who use it to destroy affordable housing.
In a parody of actress Alyssa Milano’s heart-tugging pitch for UNICEF, the ad’s female narrator asks, “What would you do if you saw a real estate mogul right in front of you, all alone, clearly suffering?”
“A small contribution of just a few hundred dollars a night — plus service charge and cleaning fee — will help these owners evict tenants and turn their apartments into lucrative, illegal hotels rented by the night on Airbnb,” the attractive brunette says.
During the 60-second spot, three wealthy landlords wear downcast expressions until they get infusions of Airbnb cash — with one slick-looking man in a suit beaming in front of a silver Porsche convertible and a Gulfstream private jet.
The ad also features text that says, “Nearly 40 percent of Airbnb revenue goes to real-estate moguls.”
The commercial was financed by the Share Better Coalition, a group of elected officials, tenants’ groups and affordable-housing advocates that gets funding from the hotel industry.
It’s intended to counter an Airbnb ad campaign that portrays its “hosts” as everyday New Yorkers who struggle to pay their bills and use the online service to make ends meet.
“This ad exposes Airbnb’s dirty secret: It enables real estate moguls to get richer while at the same time it takes affordable housing away from everyone else,” said Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan), a Share Better member.
The commercial is to start airing Monday in New York, along with digital ads targeting other major cities.
Airbnb disputed the idea behind the attack.
“Ninety percent of Airbnb hosts in New York are sharing the homes that they live in,” a spokesperson said.
“We do not condone these large commercial enterprises, and continue to call for stronger regulation of illegal hotels.”
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