Airbnb takes down campaign ads in SF for “wrong tone”

Airbnb is in a war in San Francisco, its hometown, over Proposition F, which will restrict the number of nights a person can rent out a home. It would also fine firms like Airbnb if it lists properties not registered with the city. Voters will decide on the issue in two weeks.

As one might imagine, Airbnb isn’t happy. It’s spending about $8 million on its No on Prop. F campaign.

In such a tense situation, the company may have stumbled in plastering the city with ads that tried to have a little fun with the issue. The ads touted the $12 million in transient occupancy tax Airbnb paid last year and the services tax money supports.

Among the ads:

Other billboards and bus shelter signs include:

“Please use $12 million in hotel taxes to feed all expired parking meters.”

“We hope you use some of the $12 million in hotel taxes to put escalators on all the hills.”

“We hope you use some of the $12 million in hotel taxes to keep the library open later.”

Rather than see the ads as having some fun, some city residents took offense, reported SF Weekly.

Airbnb told SF Weekly that it was removing the ads for the “wrong tone” and later said as much in a tweet:

The company told SF Weekly that it didn’t use the $8 million it has set aside for the campaign on the ads. That may be because the San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Agency prohibits advertising that “concerns a declared political candidate or ballot measure scheduled for consideration by the voters in an upcoming election or an initiative petition submitted to the San Francisco Department of Elections” on buses and bus shelters, SF Weekly says.

As SF Weekly puts it, the ads were “just a friendly reminder from your neighbor, Airbnb.”

Above: Airbnb logo. 


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