Airbnb’s appeal is that it’s better and cheaper than a hotel.
But a competitor is out to show people there are serious downsides to the sharing economy.
Vacation rental website HomeAway released an ad Monday showing the drawbacks of sharing space with people you don’t know.
Narrated by Nick Offerman, it shows people sitting on a couch while another man clips his toenails in front of them, a bar of soap covered in hair, and a hairy man in a Speedo approaching a couple poolside.
Airbnb allows hosts to share their properties with travellers by renting rooms in their houses, sometimes to multiple guests at a time.
(It’s an arrangement that didn’t work out so well for this Montreal couple).
HomeAway works differently — it rents out entire homes to vacationers with no risk of running into a stranger.
The ad doesn’t mention Airbnb, but it’s fairly obvious who’s being targeted here.
“There is an ugly side to the sharing-economy and something for people to think about … that is something we want to distance ourselves from,” HomeAway CEO Brian Sharples told The Wall Street Journal.
It’s unlikely that the ad will turn people off Airbnb altogether. But there’s little doubt that shared space has its challenges.
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