By Marc Weinreich
April 02, 2014


Sponsored selfies. That's what it's come to, folks.

On Monday, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz signed an endorsement deal with Samsung. The next day, members of Boston's 2013 World Series team were at the White House and Ortiz found himself in the unique position to brush shoulders with President Obama, who he took a selfie with using a new Samsung Note 3. The picture was eventually retweeted about 39,000 times in the next 24 hours.

Footage of that moment showed Obama directing the White House photographer to take a photo of him with Ortiz, before having Ortiz interrupt and ask the president if he minds taking the photo with his own phone.

On Wednesday, The Boston Globe reported that "Samsung confirmed that it had helped Ortiz take Tuesday’s selfie with President Obama."

Straight from Samsung, according to a separate Globe report: "When we heard about the visit to the White House, we worked with David and the team on how to share images with fans."

If Ellen's famous group shot at the Oscar's -- which broke the retweet record previously held by Obama --  didn't kill the spontaneity of the selfie for you, Ortiz's should have done the trick. At the very least it should make us cognizant of the fact that many of these supposedly candid moments are in fact carefully calculated, paid advertisements sponsored by cell phone carriers.

For his part, Obama called Ellen's selfie "a cheap stunt." 

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