The ad is in your face and frightening. It doesn't mince words with its message: Airbnb brings people to your building who may not be safe.
While it does not name Airbnb specifically, it does connect short-term rentals to terrorism at one point, noting that bomber Salman Abedi stayed in a short-term rental in Manchester.
Unite Here, Local 6 AFL-CIO, the Hotel Association of New York City, Inc and their allies in the ShareBetter coalition released a new video highlighting the public safety threats posed by short-term rentals. Airbnb, as you can imagine, is not happy with the ad.
"Frankly I think the ad is distasteful and insulting. Airbnb background checks all of our hosts and guests in the U.S. We look for prior felony convictions, significant misdemeanors, sex offender registration again we check the global terrorism watch list, sanctions. What do hotels do?" said Nick Shapiro, Airbnb's Global Head of Trust and Risk Management.
Jimmy Chin, Security Committee Chairperson for the Hotel Association of New York City, is one of the groups behind the ad campaign launched today. He said they believe Airbnb needs more legislating because isn't playing by the same rules as hotels even though it practically operates like one.
New York City Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal is one of several legislators who have gone after the home sharing site for years and said they've continued to skirt around safety concerns here in New York City. Rosenthal supports the spot, which will run for 10 days across every major network. She agrees it is provocative, but believes it gets a stern message out.
Rosenthal recently introduced another piece of legislation calling for Airbnb to fully disclose the addresses for all of its listings in New York City to law enforcement. The home sharing site already does in three cities, but so far hasn't voluntarily done so here.