Samsung’s Obama/Ortiz Selfie Ad Miffs White HouseBy: Josh Wolford - April 4, 2014
Earlier this week, President Obama welcomed the Boston Red Sox to the White House to honor their 2013 World Series run. It wasn’t huge news, as the President of the United States has been welcoming championship sports teams to the White House for decades.
There was an interesting moment, however, when Red Sox slugger David Ortiz snapped a selfie with the President. The selfie soon went viral, and at this point has garnered over 41,000 retweets. Check it out:
— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) April 1, 2014
Soon after, the innocent selfie came under fire as it was revealed that it was all probably just a marketing ploy to promote Samsung devices (what Ortiz used to take the selfie). Here is Samsung retweeting the selfie from its Mobile US corporate account:
— Samsung Mobile US (@SamsungMobileUS) April 1, 2014
Sports Business Journal reported that the selfie came on the heels of a recent endorsement deal between Ortiz and Samsung.
Couple that with the fact that Samsung had just done the exact same thing at the Oscars with Ellen Degeneres’ (much more popular) tweet, and you have a pretty open and shut case of corporate interference. Oh, and there was also the fact that Samsung released a statement on the selfie calling it an “historic moment” and basically admitted to teaching Ortiz how to best “share images with fans.”
Ok, Samsung, you win again. End of story, right?
Well, no. Now the White House is pissed.
The Wall Street Journal quotes White House press secretary Jay Carney as saying:
“As a rule the White House objects to attempts to use the president’s likeness for commercial purposes. And we certainly object in this case.”
Carney said that the President’s legal team objects to this stunt, but wouldn’t comment on whether or not lawyers will be involved in the future. President Obama himself hasn’t made a statement on the issue.
The White House did retweet Ortiz’s selfie at the time, and it still remains in their Twitter feed:
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) April 1, 2014
And the White House blog talks about the selfie in their post about the day, saying Big Papi “made the most of the moment” with his selfie.
So it looks like the White House press was unaware of Samsung’s influence on the now-infamous selfie until recently.
Image via White House blog