Airbnb Ads Removed After Backlash from Professor Kenney, Others

Wednesday, October 28, 2015
HUFFINGTON POST -- When Airbnb put up ads suggesting various ways San Francisco could use the company’s tax payments, it was undoubtedly aiming to drum up goodwill. “Dear Parking Enforcement,” one of the ads read, “please use the $12 million in hotel taxes to feed all expired parking meters. Love, Airbnb.” Another directed the city not to spend the money “all in one place,” but then said that if it did, “we suggest burritos.” Weirdly, though, people from San Francisco didn’t appreciate all this hip helpfulness: “I’m happy to hear that you paid your taxes this year,” Martha Kenney, an assistant professor at San Francisco State University, posted on Facebook. “I did too! Isn’t it awesome?” On Twitter, the ads were called “tone deaf & ignorant” and “passive-aggressive.” The attacks grew forceful enough that Airbnb issued an apology Wednesday night, acknowledging the ads struck “the wrong tone.”