The Obama administration is allegedly upset with a Samsung-sponsored selfie distributed by Red Sox baseball player David Ortiz. The photo was snapped last week when the World Series champion Boston Red Sox baseball team was invited to the White House.
During this event, Red Sox slugger Ortiz posed with President Barack Obama for a selfie that was captured with Ortiz’s Samsung phone. Members of the Red Sox team allegedly mimicked the sound of a cash register when Ortiz snapped the photo. Ortiz then tweeted the photo which was retweeted by Samsung Mobile to promote “Big Papi’s” use of the Galaxy Note 3 handset.
— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) April 1, 2014
Later it was learned, that Ortiz is sponsored by Samsung, leading people to question when the tweet was a publicity stunt on behalf of Samsung an Ortiz. Samsung responded to the allegation it staged the tweet telling the Boston Globe that ““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.”
“We were thrilled to see the special, historic moment David Ortiz captured with his Galaxy Note 3 during his White House visit,” the company said Tuesday. “It was an honor to help him capture such an incredible and genuine moment of joy and excitement.
— Samsung Mobile US (@SamsungMobileUS) April 1, 2014
For his part, Ortiz confirmed to CBS News that Samsung gives him “phones and other stuff,” but said the selfie was spontaneous. According to CBS News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller, the White House was not happy with the promotion saying that it objects to any commercial use of President Obama’s image and does so in this case with Ortiz.
WH says it routinely objects to use of Pres Obama's image in ads/commercials and does so in current case of David Ortiz selfie for Samsung.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) April 3, 2014
This isn’t the first time Samsung has made the news for a controversial selfie. Earlier this year, Ellen DeGeneres snapped a group selife at the Oscars that quickly became the most retweeted tweet in Twitter’s history. After tweeting the selfie from a Samsung device, DeGeneres or a member of her staff continued to tweet the rest of the night from an iPhone.