Tire manufacturer admits Jerry Lambert appeared in advertisement, but not PlayStation product pitcher Kevin Butler.
Tire manufacturer Bridgestone has denied that Kevin Butler appeared in a commercial that recently drew a lawsuit from Sony. Court documents obtained by The Hollywood Reporter affirm that Jerry Lambert--the actor who portrayed Kevin Butler in a series of PlayStation commercials--appeared in the ad, but deny any wrongdoing.
"Mr. Lambert is one of the actors who appeared in the commercial as a Bridgestone engineer," Bridgestone said. "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."
The documents go on to explain that Bridgestone plans to fight the lawsuit by making clear Sony held no mark for "Kevin Butler" and that there is no likelihood of confusion.
Sony's lawsuit against Bridgestone originated from an advertisement in which Lambert was shown playing Mario Kart Wii, a product of PlayStation competitor Nintendo. This advertisement has since been pulled. Sony's suit claims Bridgestone's use of the Kevin Butler character is a misrepresentation of Sony intellectual property and in fact has caused the publisher damages.
"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," Sony said in a statement. "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."
An actor's greatest fear; becoming typecast. According to Sony, because Jerry "looks like Kevin Butler" (since he is the actor that plays him), he can't be in other commercials because they spent too much money turning Jerry into Kevin, and if people see him doing something besides "being Kevin" it will confuse people.
I guess Jerry better renegotiate the terms of his contract, since he's apparently going to be a lifetime spokesman for Sony.
So the ACTOR who portrays Kevin Butler does a Bridgestone commercial and now Bridgestone gets sued by Sony because they think Bridgestone is using Kevin Butler to advertise tires and a Wii giveaway? Seriously? Jerry Lambert =/= Kevin Butler.
Interesting.....despite, what anyone might think of Sony, they may have a case. When I saw this commercial I was like wtf! And thought Butler had jump ship, didn't even think it was a tire commercial. Thought it was for Wii. Lol
While I think Bridge stone is in the right I learned in comm law that using a person's likeness is not allowed. I forgot what car company used a robot dressed as Vanna White from Wheel of Fortune and got into trouble. It all depends if the court sees the ad as using the likeness of a fictional character in this case Kevin Butler.
Jerry Lambert is not Kevin Butler. Unless Sony made a specific deal with the actor Jerry Lambert and had him sign some kind of contract against doing any other commercials for other companies, I don't see how they have a case.
Has something like this ever happened before? Suing for representing a competitor's company?I'm curious. I'm not a fan of the lawsuit, but I can definitely see how this is something Bridgestone/Wildcat Creek Inc should have avoided.
@Granpire When NBC was making a remake of Knight Rider the guy that provided the voice over work for General Motors commercials was slated to play the voice of KITT. In the remake KITT was a Ford Mustang and GM threatened to sue over their guy playing a Mustang. The actor decided it was not in his best interests to be sued by a former employer so he backed out and no legal action was taken. Apparently copyright gives companies the legal right to own specific aspects of a person as their intellectual property. ie voice, face, personality, etc.
Im going to make a prediction that on April of 2013 Sony will announce Its biggest loss ever after six years of failing to make a profit.
@Vodoo I don't see how it's a waste of taxpayer dollars. It's more a waste of Sony's customers' dollars.
So Sony is saying that this actor can't have a life outside of Playstation? Yep, that sounds like Sony alright.
@Vodoo If anything, they're saying that he can't have a (professional) life in the gaming advertising space. A rather important detail.
Rules of the Colt of Sony
First Rule: Sony is not a Colt its a company
Second Rule: Nobody promotes a competitors products
Third Rule: Nobody leaves even if let go by the colt
@hatieshorrer Derp herp, rules of the horse of Sony. It didn't make sense or was funny anyways, even if you used the right word, cult. The fact you misspelled just saves everyone a lot of time from reading the rest.
@hatieshorrer Cult as in horse?
@hatieshorrer Like a Colt .45?
Jerry Lambert is an actor. Actors play many characters in their time. Even if he was under contract with Sony, this is not the issue that Sony is choosing to address, so I have a feeling that this is not really an issue at all. The issue is that they think that he is playing the same character in two different commercials for two very different companies. That's absurd.
Aren't we all tad quick to jump on Sony hate bandwagon? Sure, they made some stupid decisions and have problems with overpricing but here it was clear Bridgestone was testing how far they can go by pulling a Wii on it. Someone mentioned it already but I don't see how the game console can even appear on a tire ad when it could've been him about doing any other things. **
Krystal and maybe White Castle is using a clown in a yellow suit, a king like figure, a girl with red pigtails. And they are not getting sued.
I think its funny how you make this sound like poor Sony is being picked on by Jerry Lambert and Bridgestone.
The CEO of Nintendo North America Reggie Fils-aime was asked if he would buy the next Call of Duty even though it wasnt released on a Nintendo console. He said he would and he buys every major franchise. He also said he was impressed by Little Big Planet. Are you saying Nintendo should sue Reggie for saying these things.
Your so obsessed with cradling Sony that you havent considered how Jerry Lambert is affected. No one will hire him for fear that he might offend Sony and have to prepare for a lawsuit.
@hatieshorrer Sorry you are accusing someone of fanboyism when I'm just saying the truth. And I also had game consoles from all the major company so, it's not like I love Sony.
Also arguing Reggie expressing his thoughts about Little Big Planet is very different in context. Are you saying that it's alright for actor to listen to Ipod in Microsoft Ad or use Windows computer in the Apple ad? Think about this a little more.
It's not about an ownership of an actor. The problem is he is playing a game from a company Sony is directly competing with. It's not a big deal for us obviously.
No offense and I am not trying to be rude, but stating an opinion other than what Sony and Sony's lawyers is not jumping in the Sony hate bandwagon.
The nature of the lawsuit is not actually about Jerry Lambert endorsing a Wii in the Bridgestone ad, or something similar; however, Sony file this lawsuit because of an Intellectual Property and Trademark infringement, meaning (if I am correct), that both Bridgestone and Wildcat Creek (specially since JL own it I believe) were using Sony's intellectual property on the ad.... and yes, that IP/Trademark was Kevin Butler, which cannot be found in the ad that created the problem. Jerry Lambert is on the ad, but no Kevin Butler persona can be found on it.
Jerry Lambert has a contract with Sony and is shown in a commercial playing a wii. Kevin butler is the fictional character that he plays. so he will be held account for breaking his CONTRACT that is what this is about. not Sony vs Nintendo.
@Mersinary_Myth Certainly it has nothing to do with Nintendo. It has to do with the lawyers of a major company needing to have their heads pulled out of their collective rectums on a bimonthly basis and be told they do not in fact own the world despite having signed their names on it with a sharpie. Also since you're apparently familiar with it what part of his contract states that he can never play video games ever? Because keep in mind should anyone ever SEE him do so, that act could be easily misconstrued; should Sony ever decide to do so.
@SeAzhrei @Mersinary_Myth I'm not saying i read his contract but it is common that when your understand a contact like his you show yourself tv, ect. using the competitors products. do i agree with how this crap work hell no. but i understand it. I bet you there were people who actually thought he worked for sony. my point is that even though its a stupid situation. should of known this would happen. i has happen to other people too.
Sony just keeps spiralling down and down, instead of focusing on what sells their product they focus on immature lawsuits.
Kevin butler makes fun of Nintendo but then plays a Wii ... Why am I not surprised? It's not like Sony rips off all of nintendos ideas o wait they do.
You know, if Sony was clever and had a sense of humour they could have just said that Butler has gone undercover to investigate their competition when it was brought to their attention that Lambert was in the ad, hell that might have even won them a few fans.
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