Way to Ruin President Selfies, David Ortiz

Monday, April 07, 2014 - 10:11 AM

President Obama, speaking Wednesday at Union Depot in St. Paul, Minnesota

Last week, Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz took a selfie with President Obama that, unbeknownst to The President, was orchestrated by Samsung to promote the Galaxy Note 3 cellphone. Turns out The White House isn't super happy about that.

 

Speaking to CBS' Face the Nation this sunday, Senior advisor to Obama Dan Pfeiffer says that White House lawyers are talking to Samsung about the stunt. 

Pfeiffer: [Obama] obviously didn't know anything about Samsung's connections to this. Maybe this will be the end of all selfies. But in general, whenever someone tries to use the president's likeness to promote a product, that's a problem that the white house council-

Schieffer: Are you going to take any kind of legal action?

Pfeiffer: We've had conversations with Samsung about this and expressed our concerns.

It's easy to see that David Ortiz comes off looking kind of slimy in this story, squandering a meeting with the president to promote a sponsor. But what's less clear to me is how Samsung fares in all of this. It's certainly not great to arouse the ire of The President, but the words "Galaxy Note 3" would have not have even been a blip on my radar were it not for this incident. Now it's the tech/media story du jour, and as of this morning, David Ortiz' selfie has been retweeted over 42,000 times.

I suppose this speaks to the "all press is good press" maxim. The White House obviously takes this seriously, but it will look pretty petty if it actually takes legal action against Samsung, so in the end, this is unlikely to affect the company financially. In terms of press, I mean they're getting talked about on the prestigious TLDR blog, where luminaries from around the world come to get their news. So it's clearly a big win.

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TLDR is a short podcast and blog about the internet by PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman. You can subscribe to our podcast here. You can follow our blog here. We’re also on Twitter, and we play Team Fortress 2 more or less constantly, so find us there if you like to communicate via computer games from six years ago.

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