The White House criticized Samsung on Thursday for promoting a selfie taken by Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz with President Barack Obama.
The picture was taken by Ortiz, known as “Big Papi,” on his Samsung phone Tuesday and was later re-tweeted by the company with the words: "This photo was taken with a #GalaxyNote3," to its 5.2 million followers. The White House press secretary reportedly said Wednesday that Obama was not aware of the marketing stunt at the time.
"As a rule, the White House objects to attempts to use the president's likeness for commercial purposes, and we certainly object in this case," White House spokesman Jay Carney reportedly said during a press briefing Thursday.
On Wednesday, the Boston Globe reported that the selfie was a promotional stunt set up by Samsung, who hired Ortiz to be a social ambassador, but, the baseball player reportedly denied being paid by the company for taking the photograph with the president.
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.” He added: “You don't get a chance to get a photo with the president every day.”
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According to Bloomberg, in 2009, the White House launched an offensive to regulate the commercial use of Obama's image.
In 2010, The Weatherproof Garment Company installed a billboard in Times Square showing the president wearing one of its coats, and added the image to its home page, calling the promotion, "The Obama Jacket," prompting an objection from then-spokesman for the Whte House, Ben LaBolt, nearly identical to the latest statement from the White House.
Here's Samsung's retweet of Ortiz's tweet:
— Samsung Mobile US (@SamsungMobileUS) April 1, 2014