Recently, the Boston Red Sox baseball team was honored by President Obama for winning the 2013 World Series. The tradition of U.S. presidents honoring winning teams and athletes goes back many decades.

So, what makes this year’s celebration different? David Ortiz of the Red Sox took a selfie with President Obama. Nothing wrong what that, right? So, what’s the controversy?

It seems that Ortiz had signed a promotion deal with Samsung shortly before the ceremony and the photo then became viewed as too commercial in nature — something that all presidents have frowned upon.

As reported by Tim Parry for Multichannel Merchant:

“It all seems innocent. But Terry Lefton of Sports Business Daily reported a day before the Big Papi-presidential selfie that David Ortiz had signed an endorsement deal with Samsung – one similar to the one Ellen DeGeneres signed with Samsung prior to her Oscars selfie.”

“Here’s where it gets funny: Samsung told The Boston Globe that they arranged for the Ortiz-Obama selfie. Ortiz, on the other hand, said the selfie was not a publicity stunt.”

Who do YOU believe?

Click the image to read more.


17 Replies to “When Does a Selfie Go Too Far?”

  1. In all honesty, I understand that the president is trying to be more of an everyday person and relating to the average world, but this “selfie” craze should not go as far as the president. I believe it HAS been taken too far. The selfie takes away the professional outlook people can have on the president. I am a proud supporter of Obama, but not everyone is and publicity stunts like this will only further aggravate some citizens. I can see it now, people turning to one another saying “If Obama jokes around this easily, who says he isn’t always like that and not taking his job seriously?” This is wrong on both side and both parties. Obama is our president, not some walking publicity campaign for phone companies. I believe this belittles the president.

  2. I don’t think Obama being a part of this selfie is that big of a deal. “Selfies” are a big publicity mechanism these days and although I do understand that he is the president of the United States, he is still a normal human being. Him taking a selfie is him just being normal rather than him just being the guy that stands behind a podium and says speeches all the time.

  3. I’m going to have to disagree with Emily. I think it is great that President Obama is taking selfies with people. After all, he is a human, so why should he not be able to do what the rest of the world can do. There is nothing wrong with taking selfies. As far as the Samsung deal with Ortiz, I have to believe Samsung, because why would they lie about how they market? I think it was just a bonus for Ortiz that he got the privilege to take a cool selfie with the president.

  4. When I first saw this image on ESPN I thought it was funny and entertaining. I feel like so many people are trying to make more out of it than it is. David Ortiz has a fun and likable personality and Obama is a a huge sports fan so I see nothing wrong with this picture. If the two of them were to take a normal picture together nobody would have said there was anything controversial about it so I do not see why a “selfie” would be much different. I do not think this is the end of selfie’s with Obama and I am curious to see who will be next..

  5. I personally find this picture humorous and I think it is being taken too far. Yes, the President is supposed to be a professional figure, however, he is also a regular human in this day and it is normal for people to take this “selfie”. It should not be taken so far to cause controversy. I think this makes the President a more down to earth person and that is something important. I do not think it was a publicity stunt.

  6. I honestly don’t think it maters too much. The intention of Samsung making selfies a commercial idea is too late to make any further revenue out of. No one is going to buy a smartphone for the ability to make a selfie. If, by the miniscule chance they do, they won’t have a guarantee in buying a Samsung phone. iPhones and other emerging smartphones have the same “selfie” camera. Finally, President Obama has taken many selfies. Why is one going to sell a phone? The selfie phase is bigger than its own good but that shouldn’t really matter. It’s all in good fun. A company trying to make a deal out of it through the Oscars selfie and now this mysterious deal isn’t going to be doing much, in my opinion.

  7. I truly do not see why people are making such a big stink about one picture. I think part of Obama’s image as president is that he is a people’s president. I don’t think this was a stunt meant for advertising or anything. I don’t see a problem with the president obliging to someone’s request to take a picture with him. Although, he is a public official, he is still sort of a celebrity and people react like this with celebrities.

  8. In these dynamic times, everything is constantly changing. Why can’t advertising and presidents do the same? In the past, commercials and advertisements were merely selling products and services. From all the innovative and creative advertisements we see today, they have transcended those physical boundaries and taken on all shapes and forms to inform, entertain, and even empower us. (I really enjoyed this Dove advertisement about beauty patches: Personally, I feel that the Presidents of United States of America have always set the precedence for new roles that others around the world can take on. It is very refreshing to see a person of authority act like a normal human being. Politics dehumanize them, but these random acts make them seem somewhat more approachable. The debate is always on drawing the line. What precautions must be taken to ensure that the President remains “mystifying” (Strange word, I know), or maintain the aura of superiority. Perhaps the selfie was intended to be a marketing ploy for President Obama. Perhaps it was one for Samsung. I guess we would never really know…but it was one selfie that made history.

  9. Although there is a lot of controversy about the president taking a selfie, I personally don’t see the big deal. Many people think that the president should be always be professional, but at the end of the day he is a regular person just like us. He should be able to be playful and take a picture without everyone criticizing it. This picture shows the American people that Obama can relate to them even though he is the leader of this country. When I first saw this picture I was actually happy because I would hate to have a president that is uptight.

  10. Well of course David Ortiz is going to say it was not a publicity stunt. He is expected to be there with his teammates to accept the president’s congratulations on winning the World Series. Professional athletes get endorsed all of the time, it’s just a matter of how well they handle it. I am sure it is true that Ortiz agreed to a deal with Samsung, but he is not going to come out and say that when he takes the selfie with the president. I think he handled it very well, unlike athletes such as Mets pitcher Matt Harvey, who a few months ago completely made a fool out of himself after he was endorsed by Qualcomm.

  11. When I first saw this picture on ESPN i found it funny and entertaining. I think the controversy and drama surrounding this picture has been taken too far. The picture shows that President Obama is just a normal human like the rest of us. I do not think this picture is a publicity stunt.

  12. I’m pretty sick of selfies in general and now that celebrities are doing it is making it even worse. I’m especially sick of Obama acting like a celebrity. Doesn’t the president have better things to be doing than taking selfies with Big Papi? I absolutely think this was a publicity stunt just like the Ellen selfie with the Galaxy.

  13. I see where both sides are coming from in this controversy and I honestly don’t know which side I agree with more. What I find more interesting is how renowned the actual act of “taking a selfie” became. At this rate, the “let me take an usie” is right around the corner.

  14. I don’t what to believe really but… Let us all remember that we are all accountable to whatever selfie we are to do.

  15. Honestly, I do not see the problem with this at all. People have taken this too far and have looked at it the wrong way. If Big Papi wants to take a selfie with the President of the United States then let him. It doesn’t do any harm to him, the President, or anyone else around the world so I don’t see what the big deal is.

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