The White House plans to ban visitor photos with President Barack Obama, thanks to Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz. Obama invited Ortiz and his Red Sox teammates to the White House last week to celebrate their World Series win.
Obama obliged Ortiz’s request to pose for a ‘Selfie’ taken with Ortiz’s self phone. Such selfies are normally uploaded to social media websites including Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
But Ortiz’s photo op with the president was actually part of a pre-arranged deal between Ortiz and Samsung to promote the cell phone company’s phones.
Ortiz signed his endorsement deal with Samsung 2 month ago. After the Red Sox slugger tweeted the photo, Samsung retweeted the image to its 5 million followers.
During an appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation, White House senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer said Obama was not aware of Ortiz’s deal with Samsung.
“Well, he obviously didn’t know anything about Samsung’s connection to this,” he said. “And perhaps maybe this will be the end of all selfies.”
He added: “We’ve had conversations with Samsung about this and expressed our concerns.”
Pfeiffer did not elaborate on the content of the discussions when asked by host Bob Schieffer.
But White House press secretary Jay Carney did not mince his words.
“As a rule, the White House objects to attempts to use the president’s likeness for commercial purposes,” Carney said. “And we certainly object in this case.”
In his defense, Ortiz claims the selfie was “spontaneous” and not part of his lucrative deal with Samsung.