WH objects to marketed selfie with Obama

The White House on Thursday objected to Samsung's viral marketing campaign featuring a selfie of President Obama with Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.

"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.

ADVERTISEMENT
Carney would not say whether the White House counsel had been in contact with Samsung over the photograph and subsequent social media coverage.

During a championship ceremony for the World Series champion Red Sox at the White House on Tuesday, Ortiz presented Obama with a jersey and then took out his phone to shoot a picture with the president.

"He wants to take a selfie!” Obama said. “It's the Big Papi selfie.”

The image was then tweeted by Samsung's official account, which bragged to Twitter users it had been taken with one of the company's phones.

In a statement to the Boston Globe, Samsung said that it was “thrilled to see the special, historic moment David Ortiz captured with his Galaxy Note 3 during his White House visit.”

“It was an honor to help him capture such an incredible and genuine moment of joy and excitement. Similar to the selfie Ellen was able to capture during the Oscars, this was an opportunity for David to share the incredible moment with his fans,” the phone manufacturer said. "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."

The phone manufacturer paid millions of dollars to sponsor the Academy Awards, where host Ellen DeGeneres took a selfie with a group of celebrities including Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Lawrence.

That image shattered the record for retweets — ironically, held by President Obama’s Twitter feed for a post shortly after his 2012 election victory.