White House cries foul over Samsung’s use of Obama-Ortiz selfie

The White House isn’t pleased with what phone maker Samsung has done with a selfie snapped Tuesday by designated hitter David Ortiz during the Boston Red Sox’s visit to the White House.

Ortiz tweeted the photo to more than 630,000 followers, and the selfie was retweeted nearly 40,000 times, including by Samsung. A company representative told the Boston Globe it “was an honor to help [Ortiz] capture such an incredible and genuine moment of joy and excitement,” according to ESPN.


The tsk-tsk from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. was swift.

“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 Thursday, according to the Boston Globe. “And we certainly object in this case.”

Carney wouldn’t comment on whether White House lawyers had contacted Samsung to ask the company to stop using the photo, but he said similar situations have occurred.

“It does stand to reason we have objected in the past. We object now,” said Carney, who wore a Red Sox cap to a briefing earlier in the week, according to the Globe. “But I’m not going to get into the manner of objection.”

Ortiz is under contract with Samsung as a social media ambassador, the Globe reported, saying the company encouraged him to use his Galaxy Note 3 phone to take photos at the White House. But Ortiz denied that the selfie was planned.

“That was one of those things that just happened,” the baseball player told the 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.”

Watch Ortiz and Obama here via ESPN:

This is how a real man peels potatoes


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