Who owns your face? Who can use that face to advertise? If you’re taking BCM112, we have touched on this, but since then it has become a way more interesting topic. How could it get more interesting than the hijacking of Bradley Coopers face by Ellen DeGeneres?
Sourced from David Ortiz’s twitter
Obama. That’s how. David Ortiz, a Boston Red Sox Baseballer, just days after signing a deal to provide Samsung with advertising through social media, tweeted the above photo. Samsung retweeted the post to its 5 million followers and the pic swept through the twittersphere with the Samsung name riding it to glory.
Within hours the White House had responded, saying “the White House objects to attempts to use the president’s likeness for commercial purposes,” and recently announced that the matter was being looked into legally.
Samsung (who we can all now agree is pretty much the master of the advertising selfie), you might remember, did something similar a month ago with the famous oscar selfie. DeGeneres, through her selfie, used the faces of all those poor, unwitting celebrity faces to promote Samsung. Controversey was mild, and debate about the ol’ public sphere was built on the outrage that something apparently spontaneous and propagated by social media was not disclosed as advertising. People felt cheated by that. In the latest example of the ‘staged selfie’, as it is becoming known, the outrage and debate is based around the use of someones image, especially that of the President, being used as advertising after being captured on the pretence of a simple and innocent selfie. If the faces of celebrities and Presidents aren’t immune to being used as corporate advertising, then who’s could be?
Discussion, debate and outrage abounds, specifically on the social platform that originally propagated the cause of the controversey. Tags such as #ortizselfie, #obamaselfie and (my personal favourite) #selfiegate are trending rapidly and display perfectly the conflict that this has created. Hopefully, all the debate and backlash will result in the use of selfies for advertising quickly become cliche or taboo in the near future, but for now we all have to guard our faces pretty carefully. You never know when someone might just try to use someone elses face just to attract attention…
- Katie Zezima, 2014, “Selfie Promotion: Did David Ortiz Punk The President?”, The Washinton Post, Published 7/8/14, accessed 8/4/14 http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/selfie-promotion-did-david-ortiz-punk-the-president-with-his-not-so-candid-camera-trick/2014/04/02/ca299520-ba84-11e3-9c3c-311301e2167d_story.html
- Jaime Alves, 2014, “Did samsung Cross the Line With Obama-Ortiz Selfie?”, American Live Wire, Published and Accessed on the 8/4/14 http://americanlivewire.com/2014-04-06-samsung-cross-line-obama-ortiz-selfie/
- Terry Lefton, 2014, ” Samsung latest deal for Ortiz as Series MVP keeps endorsement momentum going”, Street & Smith Sports Business, Published 31/3/2014, Accessed 8/4/14, http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2014/03/31/Marketing-and-Sponsorship/Ortiz.aspx