At the beginning of May it became known that Fynn Kliemann behaved less socially than claimed in the production and distribution of mouth and nose protective masks. Many companies and his business partners turn away from the Youtuber. Now he wants to make amends.
When Jan Böhmermann and his "ZDF Magain Royale" team dropped the bomb at the beginning of May, Fynn Kliemann's shining star quickly sank into the abyss. Together with the company Global Tactics and his business partner Tom Illbruck, shortly after the start of the pandemic, he is said to have declared mouth-nose protection masks not only produced in Asia as goods from Europe. He also donated 100,000 useless and therefore unsaleable masks to refugee camps and was celebrated for it.
Numerous cooperation partners then turned their backs on Kliemann and Illbruck, including the NGO Viva con Agua, the internet retailer About You, which belongs to the Otto Group, and the DIY chain Toom. Kliemann, who became known as a do-it-yourself youtuber, has now also been deprived of a sustainability award.
According to "Spiegel", Fynn Kliemann has now announced that he intends to donate the profits from his shop "Oderso", through which, among other things, he allegedly sold masks and clothing produced in Europe, to four non-profit organizations. They should each receive 71,000 euros, which would correspond to a total of 284,000 euros - although in the previous interview with "Spiegel" there was talk of a profit of half a million euros. This sum was wrong, the magazine now quotes the influencer as saying. For the time being, he does not want to announce the organizations that he wants to give the money to.
In the meantime, Tom Ilbruck has also turned his back on Fynn Kliemann and set up an internet address for his statement. On the zstn.de page with the subtitle "On the statement by Till Illbruck", he writes: "In the last two weeks, serious allegations have been made by the media." An image was constructed that "points to suspected fraud". "I have withdrawn first to clarify the situation as transparently as possible before I unnecessarily unsettle you with half-finished answers." Here Ilbruck apparently learned from the mistakes of Kliemann, who went public immediately after the "ZDF Magazin Royale" video, uploaded several Instagram clips, gave interviews and made a lot of things even worse.
Illbruck continues: "It was an extraordinary time (...) The prices for masks rose immeasurably, and I was looking for a way to do something meaningful with my experience and my textile manufacturer Global Tactics e.K.." But he also felt responsible to his employees and producers and had to compensate for the drop in sales in the collection business.
“The refugee camps were so inadequately supplied at the time that any protection there, no matter how small or short-lived it may seem, was important,” it says in relation to the allegation of having delivered defective masks to people in need. Batches are also said to have been sold at twice the purchase price and not been donated, according to emails with the relevant aid organizations, which are available to the Stern magazine, among others.
Initially, masks were made in Serbia and Portugal, but due to the rapidly increasing demand, Fynn Kliemann finally worked with the textile manufacturer Adrian Ahrens (Texolution GmbH
He also comments on the donated masks in his text. "It was never my intention to donate defective masks. The suggestion to donate the masks came from Adrian Ahrens. The incorrect pattern communicated was completely acceptable to me and was not discussed further." The name Ahrens is mentioned again, and Illbruck uploads several documents and chat histories. Illbruck is said not to have been aware that the masks were completely useless.
Further explanations follow, which deal with cooperation with aid organizations and any donation receipts. Then Illbruck closes with the words: "I apologize for any mistakes, misunderstandings and the resulting problems for customers, organizations and refugees and take full responsibility for this. During this, undoubtedly hectic, time at the beginning of the pandemic, I was not aware of the serious consequences my misconduct in communication may cause." As a consequence of his actions, he has to "terminate my employment relationship with Global Tactics Production GmbH with immediate effect
Tom Illbruck also posted the statement or a link to it on the Global Tactics Instagram channel, and here the opinions in the comments column are unanimous. After all the lies that have been uncovered in recent weeks, he is no longer believed. Illbruck and Kliemann repeatedly get caught up in contradictions and seem to disagree on many points.
What Lukas Geffarth from the w.m.t. Gallery now clarifies in conversation with ntv.de. He oversees the "Art Against War" project, in which Kliemann and Illbruck are said to have been active. Geffarth stresses that the two were never partners in the campaign, which worked with artists to raise money for war-affected people through the sale of their work. Here, too, Kliemann and Illbruck apparently adorned themselves with foreign plumes, as they only appeared as one of many supporters. According to Geffarth, the fact that his gallery managed the donations they collected, as Illbruck recently claimed when asked by "Stern", is not true.