It was later revealed that the image of Ortiz and President Barack Obama snapped by the Red Sox slugger was part of a promotion for Samsung.
“Well, [President Obama] obviously didn’t know anything about Samsung’s connection to this,” Pfeiffer said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “And perhaps maybe this will be the end of all selfies.”
White House officials have “had conversations with Samsung about this and expressed our concerns,” Pfeiffer said, declining to give specifics. “We’ll leave that conversation between the lawyers.”
During the ceremony, as the Red Sox presented a commemorative No. 44 jersey to Obama, Ortiz pulled out his phone to snap the photo with the president.
“He wants to take a selfie!” Obama said. “It’s the Big Papi selfie.”
What an honor! Thanks for the #selfie, @BarackObama
— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) April 1, 2014
Ortiz later tweeted the selfie from his Twitter account. Samsung retweeted the photo, saying it was “thrilled to see the special, historic moment David Ortiz captured with his Galaxy Note 3 during his White House visit.”
“When we heard about the visit to the White House, we worked with David and the team on how to share images with fans,” the company said in a statement. “We didn’t know if or what he would be able to capture using his Note 3 device.”
According to Sports Business Journal, the All Star designated hitter recently signed an endorsement deal with Samsung to be its “MLB social media insider.”
“So when the Red Sox visit the White House this week to commemorate their World Series victory, ‘Big Papi’ will be tweeting and sending photos on Samsung’s behalf,” the publication reported Monday, the day before Papi snapped the presidential selfie.
On Wednesday, Ortiz denied the selfie was part of his new endorsement deal.
“It wasn’t anything promotional, anything like that,” Ortiz said. “I mean, who knows that you’re going to take a picture with the president? How many people can guarantee that? It was something we don’t even have to talk about.
“It just came out right in the moment when I gave him the jersey and he asked to take pictures,” Ortiz continued. “It was like, ‘Oh, wait a minute, let me see if I can get away with this.’ I was lucky that I was right there. It was fun. It was something I’ll never forget.”
The White House isn’t forgetting, either.
“As a rule, the White House objects to attempts to use the president’s likeness for commercial purposes,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said during his daily news briefing on Thursday. “And we certainly object in this case.”
Last month, Samsung benefited from viral success when Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres took a star-studded selfie with her Samsung phone. The photo was retweeted more than 3 million times, a new Twitter record. The previous record holder: Barack Obama.