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Airbnb’s Cancelled Ads Draw Campaign Finance Complaint

October 24, 2015

Airbnb ad faux pas causes CEO to pull them and brings allegations of campaign finance abuse.

Grassroots Actions

By Julia Carrie Wong :sfweekly – excerpt

A day after Airbnb cancelled its ads, at least one was still in place
Airbnb’s passive aggressive ad campaign about the $12 million in hotel tax that its guests contribute to the city’s coffers each year was almost universally reviled, but was it illegal?
That’s the contention of the company’s opponents in the bitter campaign over Proposition F, a ballot initiative that would strictly regulate short term rentals in San Francisco.
Two days after Airbnb launched the ill-fated campaign, only to apologize and cancel it following a swift social media backlash, the short term rental platform’s opponents are alleging that the ads jeered ’round the world were an intentional violation of San Francisco’s strict campaign finance disclosure rules.
Ian Lewis of Unite Here Local 2, the city’s hotel worker union, filed a complaint with the San Francisco Ethics Commission today against Airbnb CEO…

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