Lodging rental company Airbnb is facing a backlash over ads it put up in its hometown of San Francisco offering suggestions for what the city should do with the taxes the company pays.
The outdoor ads, written in the form of personal letters, snidely suggested that the city use the company’s tax revenue to keep the library open later, build more bike lanes and “keep art in schools.”
Airbnb is currently battling a proposed ballot measure that would place further restrictions on short-term housing rentals in the city, and the company has said that the measure would reduce the taxes it pays to the city. The ads seem to be a passive-aggressive reminder of how valuable the company’s taxes are.
Following some venomous remarks about the ads by city residents on social media, Airbnb apologized for the campaign. “The intent was to show the hotel tax contribution from our hosts and guests, which is roughly $1 million per month,” the company said in a statement. “It was the wrong tone and we apologize to anyone who was offended. These ads are being taken down immediately.”