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It turns out that the selfie Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz took with President Barack Obama when the team celebrated their 2013 World Series win at the White House may have been a marketing ploy. While Ortiz has denied that he was paid by Samsung to get the picture, the Obama Administration is still not happy with it.
The team visited the White House on Tuesday and when Ortiz presented Obama with a #44 Sox jersey, he took a selfie. “What an honor! Thanks for the #selfie, #BarackObama,” Ortiz wrote. It has since been retweeted over 40,000 times. Samsung itself later retweeted the image, adding “Big Papi. Big Selfie.”
— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) April 1, 2014
While it all seemed like it was good fun, many people took notice that Ortiz used a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 phone. The Boston Globe reported that Ortiz is a social media ambassador for the phone maker. Despite their relationship, Ortiz insisted that he was not specifically told to get a selfie with the president. It just happened in the moment.
“That was one of those things that just happened,” Ortiz explained to 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.”
Nevertheless, the White House isn’t happy that there is even a question about the photo’s promotional nature.
“As a rule, the White House objects to attempts to use the president’s likeness for commercial purposes,” press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday, reports Boston.com. “And we certainly object in this case.” Carney made no further comment and didn’t respond to speculation that they asked Samsung to stop using the photo.
image via Twitter from David Ortiz