July 28, 2016
Airbnb has come under fire for driving up housing costs in major cities. While the economics of whether or not home sharing are a cause of rising rents is still up for debate, Airbnb has gone from flat out denying they’re contributing to the problem to actually claiming they’re the solution. In its most recent ad campaign, the company has tweaked its marketing strategy to reflect this. While the Silicon Valley unicorn (currently valued around $30 billion) used to tout itself as a more affordable alternative to hotels and a way to experience a new place like you live there, Airbnb is now pushing that using their platform to rent out either part of or your entire apartment is a way to supplement your income so you can continue to afford your neighborhood. The ad campaign and Twitter account being used to promote it are touting Airbnb as a savior, calling it “a life preserver” and way to “make ends meet” while referencing “the power of homesharing.” It’s not being received well. People are furious over the campaign and calling out Airbnb for positioning itself as a guardian of those being priced out of their homes, which many argue is partly happening because of Airbnb. In the interest of profits, some landlords have taken to consistently renting out their units short-term on Airbnb rather than rent them out on leases, which is the problem the bill is trying to stop. While Airbnb is making the case that these people are taking initiative and using a resource to provide for their families, people are condemning the company for encouraging vulnerable New Yorkers (as well as some residents of other cities) to simply give up their homes rather than fight for change. On Twitter, where the ads are being pushed through paid promotions, people are replying to voice their outrage….
Source: http://observer.com/2016/07/airbnb-is-advertising-itself-as-a-solution-to-gentrification-to-avoid-regulation/