Samsung could find itself in hot waters thanks to the David Ortiz Barack Obama selfie that went viral earlier this week. The selfie was taken when White House hosted the Boston Red Sox baseball team for winning the World Series championship.
The selfie at the centre of the storm was taken by Ortiz, a Designated Hitter with Red Sox and shows the American President Obama holding up the team’s official t-shirt with his name on it and posing with Ortiz.
— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) April 1, 2014
The selfie was then used by Samsung on its Twitter account which has not go down well with the White House. Although the company has come out and said that it trained Ortiz on taking and sharing photos, it did not expect the President to pose for a selfie.
— Samsung Mobile US (@SamsungMobileUS) April 1, 2014
Executives from the company later speaking to Boston Globe said they were “thrilled to see the special, historic moment David Ortiz captured with his Galaxy Note 3 during his White House visit. It was an honour to help him capture such an incredible and genuine moment of joy and excitement. … 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 was not happy about Obama’s image being used for purported commercial purposes but it has not stated whether it intends to take any action against Samsung. According to Wall Street Journal, Jay Carney, press secretary of the White House said on Thursday during daily press briefing, “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.”
The Washington Examiner says Carney also stated that the President was not aware he was a part of Samsung’s advertising plan and the White House is consulting with lawyers.