The 21-year-old founder of startup Sociabl has insisted he did not mislead users of his app on their access to celebrities and described a report by the Today Show as “false and defamatory”.
Yesterday, Brandon Reynolds appeared in an interview with David Campbell after he claimed to have signed up Campbell, as well as his father Jimmy Barnes to his service which allows anyone to call celebrities for a fee. Unfortunately for Reynolds, neither Campbell or his father had heard of Sociabl before.
“According to Brandon you can pay $500 to talk to me through his app and $250 will go to a charity of my choice,” Campbell explained to viewers.
Campbell followed this with several other celebrity names, including American rapper Will.I.Am, whose representatives, according to Today, weren’t aware of Sociabl either.
Even the charity connections didn’t seem to be genuine. Reynolds claimed that he was working with White Ribbon and Red Cross, however, White Ribbon told Today that they weren’t associated with Sociabl.
Similarly, Reynolds claimed Labor leader Bill Shorten was meant to be attending Sociabl’s official launch party yesterday but pulled out in the last minute.
A spokesperson for Shorten told Business Insider that while a letter of support and congratulations was sent to be read out at Sociabl’s launch, he never said he was going to attend.
“We were a bit bewildered when we got a few calls last week asserting Bill was attending the event,” the spokesperson said.
“It was never the case.”
Since the TV spot, Reynolds has written a fairly lengthy post on Medium detailing how he wrong he believes Today’s report was. He claims that Today cut out over 20 minutes of footage to paint him and Sociabl in a defamatory light.
“The Nine Network then took that 25 minutes of in-depth interview, and turned it into a 3-minute shocker portraying myself, Sociabl and others in a completely false, misleading and defamatory light,” he wrote.
He claims that David Campbell’s manager signed off on both him, his father Jimmy Barnes and singer Reece Mastin to appear on on the segment. He also claims that he is working with Katherine Newton of White Riboon, despite White Ribbon confirming that they aren’t involved with Sociabl.
Then there’s Will.I.Am. Reynolds posted an email from his manager inviting him to an exclusive event hosted by Will.I.Am.
Reynolds has now removed all celebrities from the Sociabl service until further notice.