Was David Ortiz's spontaneous selfie with President Barack Obama Tuesday at the White House paid for by Samsung? The phone maker says yes, but "Big Papi" says no.
Samsung is taking credit for it, but Ortiz said he was not paid and not asked by Samsung to get a photo with the president. The world champion Boston Red Sox were at the White House for the annual recognition of the World Series winners.
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"We were thrilled to see the special, historic moment David Ortiz captured with his Galaxy Note 3 during his White House visit," Samsung said in a statement, according to the Boston Globe
. "It was an honor to help him capture such an incredible and genuine moment of joy and excitement. … When we heard about the visit to the White House, we worked with David and the team on how to share images with fans. We didn't know if or what he would be able to capture using his Note 3 device."
Samsung set up Ellen DeGeneres's selfie at the Academy Awards in March with one of its phones, which became the most retweeted photo ever.
Ortiz, though, told WEEI-FM
on Wednesday that it was a spur of the moment event.
"I did take a lot of pictures at the White House, but it wasn't like anything on purpose," Ortiz told the radio station. "I went around just like everyone and took pictures. I signed a deal with Samsung a couple of months ago and they supply me with phones and all that stuff. The photo with the President was … once-in-a-lifetime moment. How did I know he would let me take a picture with him?"
Joshua Green, of Bloomberg BusinessWeek
, wrote Wednesday that Samsung's effort to capitalize on the selfie was "shady."
"Duping the president of the United States into participating with your social media campaign has to be a new low for advertising," Green wrote. "It's flat-out shady. And Ortiz should be embarrassed. That's a Yankee move. I don't know what sort of phone the president is carrying in his pocket these days. But if I were him, I'd go shoot a selfie on a new iPhone."
Others on Twitter responded negatively about Samsung and Ortiz.
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