An Airbnb ad without commentary.

An Airbnb ad without commentary.

An Airbnb ad without commentary.

An Airbnb ad without commentary.

An Airbnb ad without commentary.

An Airbnb ad without commentary.

An Airbnb ad without commentary.

An Airbnb ad without commentary.

An Airbnb ad without commentary.

An Airbnb ad without commentary.

An Airbnb ad without commentary.

"F*^% You Airbnb": What Some New Yorkers Really Think About The Company Everyone Is Talking About

Sharpie-wielding Gotham residents have strong opinions about Airbnb--and they have nothing to do with vaginas.

The mega-hit home-sharing startup Airbnb may have a new logo that everyone is talking about, and an expanding operation, but it also has an old problem: outspoken New Yorkers, armed with Sharpies. On various Airbnb ads that have recently invaded NYC's subway platforms, someone has crossed out the company's aggressive pro-apartment sharing messaging, offering instead what some might call "real talk."

The handwriting suggests that the handiwork comes from the same mastermind, but the sentiment reflects a larger backlash against the room-sharing service. Airbnb is getting heat from regulators for violating state housing laws and the rights of renters' neighbors. The company has six months until the legislature meets again to discuss its fate.

The company has retaliated with a public relations offensive, including the cheesy ads in the subway and accompanying feel-good videos, a takeover of the New York City marathon, and its recent rebrand.

Airbnb, however, apparently didn't account for cynical, outspoken New Yorkers. In addition to the graffiti, people have called the ads "trying too hard," "creepy & propaganda-like," "disingenuous," and "lame."

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7 Comments

  • Chris Stone

    One of the tenants where I live put their apartment on airbnb last year. Ever since it has been a nightmare for the rest of us because someone took their info and keeps posting our apartments for rent on craigslist (the I've been transferred need to sublet scam.) Every week someone new shows up trying to get in to one of the apartments because the scammer tells them the door is unlocked, go right in and check it out! Making matters worse, the tenants who caused this could care less.

  • Would someone not respond on the board making it a big conversation. Maybe Airbnb could next time leave designated white space for people to comment. Everyone knows there are always haters/trolls on the internet that most of us ignore at this point.

  • Richard John Davis

    This reminds me of the 60s when the peace and love movement spawned all these great ideas that turned out deadly thanks to human nature at is worst and most desperate.

  • Jeffrey Collins

    i'll stick with couchsurfing instead. It's more like bunking with a new friend for a night or two. not really business since money doesn't factor into it, so it's naturally nicer.

  • dnoe

    How is one person with a magic marker even news? Seems like a personal vendetta... I have had great experiences with AirBnB, not that it matters. More importantly, its a losing battle to fight against my right as a homeowner to rent out a spare room. Teach "our girls" about safety and if hallway rape is a common occurrence in the area, might I suggest moving to a less crime-ridden area?