Australians Have Had Enough of Airbnb and Are Now Bringing Back Early 2000s Ads in Protest

Anna Kraynova /
Anna Kraynova /

Over the final weekend of May 2023, new protest stickers appeared on light poles around Melbourne, Australia that left many laughing, and recalling the early 2000s.

The sticker was taking aim at homeowners who are making the housing crisis in Australia worse by advertising their properties as short-term rentals instead of long-term rentals. The message was simple, too: “You wouldn’t open an Airbnb in a housing crisis”- a play on the early 2000s US-led “Piracy. It’s a crime” campaign.

These announcements would play before movies and come about shortly after streaming and piracy of films online became incredibly popular. Trying to convince people that piracy was the worst crime they could commit, they insinuated it would prevent movie studios from making new films. The ads were considered tone-deaf by many and annoying to all.

Making their rounds on social media, the stickers have been incredibly popular, with many claiming that they wish the entire industry would become illegal overnight. Still, others expressed their anger at how easy it is to do as compared to regular housing.

In the state of Victoria, their elected representatives are listening, and they are calling for the Andrews government to pass tighter regulations on holiday rentals – even though Airbnb claims they are not part of the problem in the country. One of the most popular is a cap on how many times an owner can have new tenants during a year, as well as “tourist taxes” that have been incredibly popular in other countries- including right here in the US.

Much like Australia, Airbnb has been incredibly popular here in the US, and many believe it has been incredibly detrimental to the housing market as previously long-term rentals are now being turned for new “residents” every few days or weeks.