Samsung’s problems with their sponsored celebrity “selfie” campaign continue, as a report says the White House is unhappy with Samsung over a selfie taken with Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz that turned out to be part of the Samsung campaign.
The incident took place this week, when the World Series champion Boston Red Sox were recognized by the White House. At the event, designated hitter David Ortiz asked the president if the two of them could pose for a “selfie” with his Samsung smartphone, and Obama obliged, while one of Ortiz’s Red Sox teammates yelled “cha-ching” in the background, mimicking the sound of a cash register.
The White House now says they had no inkling that Ortiz was sponsored by Samsung, and officials are “not happy” that the president was drawn into a promotional stunt for the company. Samsung Mobile retweeted the image to promote “Big Papi’s” use of one of the Galaxy Note 3 handset.
The New York Daily news was told by Samsung that company officials “worked with David and the team on how to share images with fans,” but that the company “didn’t know if or what he would be able to capture.”
While White House officials are not pleased about the incident, they have not made any request to have the tweet removed by either Ortiz or Samsung.
“They don’t want to appear heavy-handed,” CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante said.
Ortiz insists the photo with the president was spontaneous, and was not sponsored by Samsung.
Samsung’s “selfie” campaign pays celebrities to take “selfie” shots of themselves and others, to promote Samsung devices. The company suffered a bit of embarrassment at the March Oscars event, when show host Ellen DeGeneres snapped a star-filled selfie as part of a sponsorship deal with Samsung, then later that night tweeted out other photos taken with her iPhone.