Samsung is in the cell phone business, but it’s also in the selfie business.
The tech brand was behind Academy Awards host Ellen DeGeneres’ photo
that became the most-retweeted picture of all time. Now, it has revealed that it also played a role in this shot of President Obama and Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz:
Ortiz took the photo during the Red Sox’ visit to the White House on Tuesday. The day before, the Sports Business Journal
reported that Ortiz had signed a deal with Samsung to be a “social media insider.” Apparently, part of the deal was snapping a photo with the president.
Ortiz has insisted that the shot was a spontaneous moment, but Samsung has been tweeting to people who replied to the original selfie post with promotional tweets of its own:
That has led publications such as Businessweek
and Yahoo News
to call the whole endeavor a “trick” or a “setup.”
A few Twitter commentators have called Samsung’s ethics into question:
Others still have called the whole thing a marketing victory.
CBS Boston reports
that the White House was not particularly pleased to discover that the photo was a brand’s publicity stunt.
“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,” CBS Boston’s report states.
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What do you think, PR Daily
readers? Is this a brilliant bit of stealth marketing, or did Samsung cross a line?