An ad campaign by a coalition of hotels and their union workers in New York City insinuates that home-sharing companies like Airbnb could indirectly support terrorism.
TechCrunch reported that ads, set to be aired on local TV and cable, note that the bomber in the Manchester, England attack earlier this year stayed in a short-term rental apartment, adding that there are 40,000 Airbnb listings in New York City — a top target for terrorists.
The Hospitality Association of New York City, which is funding the ad campaign, also maintains an “Airbnb News” feed on its website which focuses on negative news stories about “sharing economy” lodging, including reports of drunkenness and assaults by Airbnb guests and fraud committed by Airbnb hosts.
Airbnb is countering with ads of its own that condemn the hotel industry’s scare tactics and raise some pointed questions about hotel safety.
“The fact is Airbnb had nothing to do with the tragic events in Manchester and we are one of the only hospitality companies that runs background checks on all US residents, both hosts and guests,” said Airbnb spokesperson Peter Schottenfels.
“Hotel CEOs have a responsibility to tell us why they don’t do the same and why they continue to fund this sort of despicable, cynical advertising.”