LONG TERM SHIMMERS

The shift in global communication trends and ongoing digitisation hasalready happened, and continues to affect the way we understand andinteract with data and customer behaviour — the way we create andtailor products and services, understand and assign value, and
distribute our products and services. distribute our products and services.We can’t ignore the entire martech industry which provides us withso many tools to be more efficient, and generally be better at ourjob.We certainly can’t ignore social channels. The way mobile phonesand other mobile devices have changed the way we communicate, consume,behave and think. These are the long-term shimmers.These are allimportant factors we should find ways to include in our everydaymarketing activities.However, brands who focus on the Gig Economy — for example Uber,Airbnb, AirTasker — should be concerned about the legislative trendstrying to abolish the foundations of their business. Last last year,an employment tribunal in the UK ruled that Uber can no longerclassify its drivers as self-employed and must pay them the nationalminimum wage, as well as providing statutory workers’ rights.Although Uber has said it will appeal against the ruling, it comesamid mounting scrutiny and opposition towards services that useself-employed labour models.Home sharing service Airbnb is already facing legal challenges incities around the world, particularly with regard to laws governingshort-term rentals. In November, riders for food delivery serviceDeliveroo announced they were taking legal action to gain unionrecognition and workers’ rights.Keep an eye on how the gig economybehemoths respond to their troubles this year.

UNCLEAR LEGISLATION COMPLICATING THE SHARING ECONOMY



“At a state level, we need some kind of statement clarifying thatis a permissible use.” – Mike Orgill, Airbnb’s Asia-Pacificdirector of public policyAccording to Legal Vision, a leading commercial law firm, the legaltreatment of Airbnb varies from state to state depending on where theproperty is situated. To complicate matters further, there is also a
lack of understanding between different local government areas within lack of understanding between different local government areas withinstates.Two recent incidents in Melbourne and Sydney highlight this division:

OTHER REGULATORY ISSUES



There are also numerous other regulatory matters that round out theconfusion. Mostly, they involve a lack of regulation in areas suchas:* Food, health and safety regulations;* Fire or disability access regulations; and* The requirement for public liability insurance.***What do you think about Airbnb’s current ambiguous legal status inAustralia? Let us know your thoughts on LegalVision’s Twitter twitter.com

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com.au considered whether Airbnb was a sublease or licence. In this case, alandlord, Ms Swan (landlord), owned a two bedroom apartment inMelbourne (apartment) which she leased to the tenants Uecker & Greaves(tenants) in August 2015 for a 12-month lease (lease).The tenants then listed the apartment on Airbnb to third party guestsfor short-term stays. The landlord upon discovery initiatedproceedings because the tenants had sublet the apartment unlawfully tothird parties without the landlord’s consent.At first instance, in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal(VCAT), it was held that the tenants only granted licences rather thanleases to the Airbnb guests com.au As such, the VCAT ruled that the tenants had not sublet the apartment.However, the Supreme Court overturned the original VCAT decision,deciding that the tenants had let the whole apartment and that it wasa sublease rather than a licence. This sublease was considered abreach of the tenant’s lease which prohibited subleasing.This case considered the narrow issue of subleasing and that thelandlord’s consent was required. It did not consider whether Airbnbitself was illegal. In fact, a test case may be difficult given thediffering laws between Australian states and territories and withinlocal government areas.

TAX AVOIDANCE



Airbnb arrangements have also come under fire with the Australian
Taxation Office (ATO). This heat was due to the fact the sharing economy lets people operate “commercial arrangements”, which canbe used to evade tax, including Capital Gains Tax and GST.Technically income earned from an Airbnb short-term holiday let mustbe declared to the tax office, but many avoid this obligation, whichis easy to do without a firm regulation of the industry.

COUNCIL ZONING LAWS



The law treats Airbnb differently depending upon which state theAirbnb rental is situated, but there is also an issue betweendifferent local government areas within states.For example, local councils in New South Wales regulate short-termholiday rentals. The Zoning Laws or Local Environmental Plan of aparticular council determines whether an individual can let a propertyas a holiday rental. A breach of these laws can result in action beingtaken under the planning laws or more generally under the_Environmental Protection Act 1979_ (NSW) (EPA).Interestingly, third parties can bring an action under the EPA whereindividuals use property without the necessary planning approval.This law means that it is possible for an industry association (suchas a hoteliers association), neighbours or a local council couldprosecute a resident for letting their property on Airbnb.For instance, the Sydney Morning Herald reported in 2015 that RandwickCouncil had issued a letter threatening property owners with a finefor renting their properties on Airbnb. This penalty was on the countof operating an unauthorised bed and breakfast establishment.

IS AIRBNB LEGAL IN AUSTRALIA?



Posted September 13, 2016Web-based sharing sites and apps like eBay, Uber and AIRBNB haverevolutionised the way in which we use and sell goods and services.Rather than a straight transaction with a seller and a buyer and nointermediary, these sites do not sell anything at all. Rather, theyintroduce a person wanting to sell with a person wanting to buy. Theparties then conduct the transaction between themselves. Thesedisruptive matchmakers are currently testing the limits ofAustralia’s existing legal and regulatory framework. This articleunpacks the different facets of the way our current laws are fallingshort of interfacing with the new breed of disruptors, using Airbnb com.au as an example.

EXPERIMENTAL MARKETING



Some of the latest and greatest experimental marketing tools only havea temporary shine. It’s perfectly ok to play around with augmentedand virtual realities. But only when we have time, and when we’refully aware of the underlying ‘experimental’ title. Experimentsare important, they involve trying new ways to engage and delightcustomers and prospects. However marketers sometimes suffer from areputation that they possess a “less commercial” outlook. It isnot true for every marketer, but it is a common perception.So how might the focus look different this year;* For the past few years, employers have expressed their frustrationin attracting and retaining talent. A few years ago at a conferencein San Francisco, one of the common themes to emerge was thetransformation of HR people into marketers. It was based on thepremise that they had to think and act as a brand to attract talent.This year, marketing and HR should work together to build asustainable brand which attract customers, employees and serviceproviders. One coherent brand.* Last year we became disillusioned with the quality of data some ofthe networks were providing.  Mark Ritson analysed some video datafrom Facebook, which proved to be wrong, and not only by a little.Losing our trust in the analytics tools will likely lead to marketersfinding their own data analysis tools. They’ll work closer togetherwith data and business analysts, making sure the data is clean,accurate and can generate valuable business insights.* Vanity metrics are finally losing their charm too (thankfully!).2017 will be the year of conversion, not engagement. As we become moreand more wary of “click farms”, fabricated and automated“likes” and views, budgets to increase those metrics are harder tojustify, and rightfully so. Snap(chat), Messenger and InstagramStories are cool to have, but without a clear path to conversion andsales — building a funnel, moving prospects through the funnel allthe way to the sweet spot where the consumer parts with their money— it will be hard to justify investment (time or money) in thoseplatforms.

AIRBNB AND THE AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE



Hosts on Airbnb must declare their rental income to the ATO and if theannual amount earned is greater than $75,000 per year the host mustregister for GST. There are several excellent sources of informationdedicated to this:* Accounting firm Sansdesk provides an in-depth tax guidespecifically aimed at Airbnb hosts .com.au * The ATO has a specific section dedicated to tax advice businesspart of the sharing economy .gov.au Using these guidelines there are three scenarios where you may beeligible to claim a tax deduction:* Hosts who rent their entire premises on an occasional basis (e.g.when they’re away or on holiday) to make income on the side.* Overseas investors who rent out their entire property locallythrough Airbnb.Those who rent out a spare room through Airbnb in a home they residein. In this instance they may only be eligible if they can provideevidence that they attempted to rent out the room at a commercialrate.Airbnb recently joined forces with global tax services provider H & RBlock in an agreement to ensure that sufficient tax guidance and tipsare provided to hosts on the platform.





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