Samsung Obama: White House Objects to Selfie With David Ortiz

Friday, 04 Apr 2014 12:00 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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The White House is not happy about Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz's Samsung selfie with President Barack Obama earlier this week, though press secretary Jay Carney declined to say whether the administration has been in contact with legal counsel.

"I can say that as a rule, the White House objects to attempts to use the president's likeness for commercial purposes," Carney told reporters Thursday. "And we certainly object in this case."

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Ortiz's selfie with the president, snapped Tuesday as the Red Sox visited the White House to celebrate their World Series win, has been retweeted more than 40,000 times, but it appears that the snapshot was part of a marketing stunt orchestrated by Samsung, similar to Ellen DeGeneres' star-studded Oscars selfie.



On Wednesday, Ortiz vehemently denied that the picture, taken with his Samsung Galaxy Note 3, had anything to do with his new position as a social media ambassador for the mobile phone provider.

"That was one of those things that just happened," Ortiz told the Boston Globe. "I gave him the jersey, and the photographers were going to take their pictures and I thought, really at the last second, maybe I should snap a shot with my phone while I have the chance. It had nothing to do with no deals."

But Samsung told a different story in a statement released after the photo was publicized.

"We were thrilled to see the special, historic moment David Ortiz captured with his Galaxy Note 3 during his White House visit," the statement read. "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."

Either way, the White House reportedly frowns upon images that make it appear as though the president is endorsing a product or campaign.

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