A while back we told you about a bit of beef Jerry Lambert and Sony got into over a Bridgestone add the actor appeared in. Many of you may not know Jerry Lambert off the top of your head, but every PlayStation fans knows the fictional PlayStation spokesman he portrayed, I mean who doesn’t love Kevin Butler? Sony actually sued Lambert for breach of contract after they felt he “played a character similar to Butler” in a Bridgestone ad promoting a Wii giveaway. Personally, I’ve seen the commercial a number of times and I never thought “hey that’s Kevin Butler promoting a Wii instead of PS3”. But it doesn’t matter what any of us think, it only matters what the judge thought and the judge agreed with Sony.
In setting the lawsuit, Lambert acknowledged that his contract with Sony prevented him from promoting competing game systems (the Wii in this case). Lambert also acknowledged that at the very least, confusion was created in the minds of some consumers who believed he was portraying the Kevin Butler character in both the PlayStation and Bridgestone commercials. Lambert is not allowed to appear in any advertisement or promotion for “any other video game or computer entertainment system or video game company” for two years. To make that even worse, for two years after that, he has to notify Sony if he intends to appear in a video game-related advertisement, which Sony then has the right to decide whether or not the ad “violates Sony’s rights in the Kevin Butler characters.” Though Lambert has settled, Sony and Bridgestone are still battling in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California over the issue.
So that’s pretty clear, it would seem that Lambert is more than likely done in relation to promoting anything video game related, that is unless somehow he and Sony have a change of heart and work together once again. Near the end the Kevin Butler ads started to get a little lame, but overall I thought it was a solid campaign.