I’m unfamiliar with VRBO but newspapers, craigslist. The environment they create is very different than AirBnB. AirBnB basically sells itself as a BnB. People use it as a cheap hotel because that’s how AirBnB presents itself.
This is very different from how Craigslist presents itself. Where the perception of craigslist housing options is “Could be anything”. Where AirBnB presents itself as “This is going to be spectacular”.
Newspapers have an aged perception as well. At this point if I were to see a newspaper ad I assume a level of environment appropriate to someone who thinks the best way to reach someone is through a newspaper ad who isn’t savvy enough for craigslist or AirBnB.
As for the mocked up AirBnB photos? ehh I don’t think they crossed a line for me. I think they were effectively within the tone of the article. That said maybe there were a few too many of them.