Will Ortiz’s Selfie be Obama’s Last?

David Ortiz takes a selfie with President Barack Obama at the White House in 2013.
After presenting the president with an "Obama 44" Red Sox jersey, Boston DH David Ortiz and Obama posed for a "selfie" on the South White House Lawn. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff). –The Boston Globe

Are selfies causing President Obama more trouble than they’re worth?

White House Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer told “Face the Nation’’ host Bob Schieffer Sunday that the recent kerfuffle over David Ortiz’s impromptu cell phone shot could mean the end of presidential selfies as we know them.

“Well, [Obama] obviously didn’t know anything about Samsung’s connection to this,’’ he said. “And, perhaps, 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 with the White House Counsel’’

Pfeiffer declined to comment on whether the administration would seek legal action over the photograph.


Watch the video here – the question about Ortiz begins at the 6:00 mark:

While Samsung acknowledges it hired Ortiz as a “social media insider’’ and advised him on “how to share images’’ from the White House visit “with fans,’’ Ortiz insists the photo was spontaneous and not part of a marketing gimmick.

“That was one of those things that just happened,’’ Ortiz told the Globe last week. “I gave [Obama] the jersey, and the photographers were going to take their pictures and I thought, really at the last second, maybe I should snap a shot with my phone while I have the chance.

“It had nothing to do with no deals.’’

It’s not the first time the Obama White House has objected to the use of the president’s image in marketing – the Weatherproof Garment Company removed a Manhattan billboard advertisement featuring a photo of Obama wearing one of its coats during a trip to China in 2009.

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