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Travel Tech urges FTC to look into deceptive anti-short-term rental ad in Washington, DC


Steve Shur on May 17, 2017

The Travel Technology Association today sent a letter to Chairwoman Ohlhausen urging the FTC to look into a deceptive anti-short term rental advertisement running on behalf of a hotel front group in Washington, DC. 

NBC Washington did a story on the fake testimonial and the local short-term rental host who uncovered the truth.  

Statement from Steve Shur, president of Travel Tech:

“The hotel industry-funded anti-short-term rental advertisement airing in Washington, D.C. takes deception to a whole new level.  Presented as a personal testimonial from long-time DC resident, the subject of the advertisement paints a bleak picture of homesharing’s impact on ‘her’ neighborhood.  But not only does the ad fail to disclose that the woman is really an actress, the story spun bears no resemblance to reality.     

“Every city contemplating regulations for short term rentals deserves an open and honest discussion about STRs.  False advertising, fake grassroots organizations and the misinformation campaign put forth by the hotel lobby serve no public good and won’t lead to the viable solutions cities seek. 

“At some point, the credibility of the sponsors of these misleading campaigns needs to be called into question. Travel Tech urges the Federal Trade Commission to examine the degree to which the advertisement’s content is deceptive to consumers and violates the Commission’s guidelines for endorsements and testimonials in advertising.”