The White House is not pleased that the seemingly spur-of-the-moment David Ortiz-President Obama selfie from Tuesday was actually a promotional stunt by Samsung. “As a rule the White House objects to attempts to use the president’s likeness for commercial purposes,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said, according to The Wall Street Journal. “And we certainly object in this case.”
On Tuesday, Ortiz and the rest of the Boston Red Sox team met with the President to honor their World Series victory last year. In what was presumed to be a candid moment, Ortiz snapped a picture of himself and Obama holding a personalized Red Sox jersey.
However, Samsung claimed that it helped set up the moment in an attempt to promote its Galaxy Note 3 phone, much like it did with Ellen DeGeneres selfie at the Oscars. Ortiz signed an ad deal with Samsung just before the trip to become the "MLB social media insider" for Samsung, and this was that deal's first big get. “When we heard about the visit to the White House, we worked with David and the team on how to share images with fans," Samsung said to The Boston Globe.
For his part, Ortiz denied that it was a promotion to reporters. "It wasn't anything promotional or anything like that," he said. "I mean, who knows that you're going to get a picture with the president, a selfie? You can't guarantee that." And as the Journal notes, the White House objection has yet to translate into legal action.
Ortiz's tweet, which was retweeted and promoted by Samsung, remains online.