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White House Not Happy With Ortiz Samsung Selfie Stunt

BOSTON (CBS/AP) — The White House said President Obama had no idea his now famous "selfie" with David Ortiz was an orchestrated marketing stunt.

Ortiz snapped the selfie with the president at a White House event using a Samsung phone and tweeted it to his followers Tuesday.
It was resent by tens of thousands of Twitter users, and Samsung retweeted the photo as an ad. The company also said in a tweet that the photo was taken with a Samsung phone.

It appeared as if everyone at the event was in on the promotion, except for the president. At least one Red Sox player shouted "cha-ching," mimicking a cash register as Ortiz took the photo.

Watch: Raw Video Obama Welcomes Red Sox




According to CBS News, Samsung named Ortiz a social media insider and coached him prior to his White House visit.

In a statement the company said "it was an honor to help him capture such an incredible and genuine moment of joy and excitement." (Continued...)

Samsung tweeted the photo to more than 5 million followers. The company was also behind the record-setting tweet of the photo Ellen DeGeneres took at the Oscars.

Ortiz admitted Wednesday that he has a deal with the tech giant, but insisted the photo with the president was spontaneous.

"It wasn't anything promotional or anything like that," he told reporters.

"I mean who knows that you're going to take a picture with the president, a selfie. You know what I'm saying? How many people can guarantee that?"

Ortiz told the Boston Globe that he signed a deal with Samsung a few months ago and the company gives him "phones and other stuff."

The Obama selfie "wasn't anything on purpose," Ortiz told the Globe. "I would say I went along just like everyone else taking pictures and posted."

The White House is not making any public request to take down the tweets.

According to CBS News Senior White House Correspondent Bill Plante, they don't want to appear "heavy handed."

They did make it clear that they were not pleased.

"Without getting into council's discussions, I can tell you that 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 Press Secretary Jay Carney said during a daily briefing.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Watch: Raw Video Obama Welcomes Red Sox


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