Ahead of the Oct. 6 City Council vote on short-term rental regulations, Airbnb has released a video and radio ad campaign highlighting New Orleans’ "host community."
The campaign features a YouTube video with New Orleans hosts, who appear to live in the homes they rent out on Airbnb, talking about using the service to stay afloat after losing jobs or struggling with the city’s rising insurance and taxes.
Airbnb cites a statistic saying 71 percent of New Orleans hosts use the service to help pay their rent or mortgages.
But, as The Advocate points out, missing from the video is perhaps the biggest item of contention in the New Orleans short-term rental debate:
The ads appear to focus on people who rent out rooms in the homes where they live — one of the least controversial ways the service is used ... They do not touch on the most controversial aspect of the debate over short-term rentals in the city: renting of entire homes in residential neighborhoods throughout most or all of the year, not just for a few weeks a year or else renting of a few rooms in otherwise occupied homes.
Airbnb has done a "Meet Our Hosts" series that has featured some New Orleanians.
Perhaps anticipating negative feedback, comments have been disabled for the video on YouTube.