White House steamed about Samsung's Red Sox selfie stunt

The White House all but scolded Samsung Corporation on Thursday for getting Red Sox player David Ortiz to take a selfie with the president that the company later tweeted out for publicity.

"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," White House spokesman Jay Carney said during his press briefing.

Carney would not say whether the White House was in touch with Samsung, merely reiterating the objection.

Ortiz, known as "Big Papi," had just become the newest social media insider for the company. After he posted the photo, Samsung Mobile promoted the tweet with the words, "This photo was taken with a #GalaxyNote3," leading to 39,200 retweets and 45,000 favorites by Wednesday afternoon.

This isn't the first time a company has tried to use the president's likeness as a marketing ploy. In 2010, The Weatherproof Garment Company noticed installed a billboard in Times Square showing the president wearing one of its coats, and dubbed it "The Obama Jacket" on its home page.

Then-spokesman Ben LaBolt issued an objection almost identical to Carney's at the time.

"The White House has a longstanding policy disapproving of the use of the president's name and likeness for commercial purposes," he told the New York Times in an email.

After the White House contacted the company, they agreed to take the billboard down, even though they believed they were within their legal rights to keep it up.

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

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