White House on the Obama-Ortiz selfie: Ugh

President Obama's press secretary reveals that the White House objects to Samsung's use of a selfie taken by its sponsored slugger, Red Sox' David Ortiz.

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The money shot. David Ortiz/Twitter

The president of the United States is just another celebrity.

Yes, just like Ellen Degeneres or the Rich Housewives of Some Suburban Hell.

So surely he didn't mind that the Red Sox' David Ortiz, recently signed as a Samsung endorser, took a selfie with him when the World Series-winning team was hosted at the White House.

And surely putting your hand in a fire is the best way of getting a tan.

The White House press secretary, Jay Carney, speaking at Thursday's regular briefing, sniffed: "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."

Ortiz told the Boston Globe that the selfie was his idea and his alone. No, his Samsung manager wasn't sending any signals from the dugout.

This declaration seemed to need instant replay adjudication after a Samsung spokesperson had told the Globe on Wednesday: "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 White House hasn't said how it has expressed its objections (other than by telling the world's press). However, it seems as if the White House's legal team might be remonstrating with Samsung's.

I think we should look beyond mere objections to something that's very in vogue currently: sanctions.

In the case of Ortiz, he should be forced to wear a Yankees cap for the rest of the season.

However, there seems a profound lack of taste on the part of Samsung here. Did the company really think that being apparently involved in the ideation and then the dissemination of this selfie was clever marketing?

There is clearly room for lesson-teaching here.

I suggest that Ortiz and a senior Samsung executive should be forced to pose for a series of selfies. Ortiz should wear his Yankees cap. The Samsung executive should be proudly holding an iPhone 5S.

This should then be tweeted with the headline: We love the Big Apple."

 

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