Sony and Bridgestone are still locking judicial horns over the appearance of Kevin Butler actor Jerry Lambert in one of the tyre manufacturer’s adverts. Bridgestone has claimed that Lambert was not playing Butler in the ad.
Lambert’s appearance in the Bridgestone advert saw him playing Mario Kart on Wii, something which riled up Sony in a big way, claiming the actor was in breach of contract.
Sony’s initial statement on the matter read:
“Sony Computer Entertainment America filed a lawsuit against Bridgestone and Wildcat Creek, Inc. on September 11. The claims are based on violations of the Lanham Act, misappropriation, breach of contract and tortious interference with a contractual relationship.”
“We invested significant resources in bringing the Kevin Butler character to life and he’s become an iconic personality directly associated with PlayStation products over the years. Use of the Kevin Butler character to sell products other than those from PlayStation misappropriates Sony’s intellectual property, creates confusion in the market, and causes damage to Sony.”
CVG reports that the Bridgestone advert initially aired three days after Lambert’s contract with Sony expired, but that an “exclusivity clause” prevented the actor from phaving his likeness used alongside any rival games product or console – like the Wii.
Bridgestone has stated that Lambert played a tyre engineer in the advert, not Butler, “Mr Lambert is one of the actors who appeared in the commercial as a Bridgestone engineer. Bridgestone denies that Kevin Butler appears in the Bridgestone commercial discussed herein and thus denies that he speaks or does anything whatsoever in the commercial.”
What’s your take on the matter? Is Lambert’s appearance so synonymous with Butler that the two cannot be removed by association, or is this whole matter ridiculous? Share your thoughts below.