First time I saw the ad where the guy we know as Kevin Butler (VP of Every PlayStation Ad For The Last Few Years) openly enjoying Mario Kart in a recent Bridgestone Tires/Wii promotional ad, I tweeted “Well, somebody’s gonna sue somebody…”
And I was right.
As reported by MyNintendoNews.com, legal documents filed by Sony shows they’re about to sue the shiz out of Jerry Lambert (Sony’s “Kevin Butler”) for the Bridgestone Wii commercial.
Named as defendants in the lawsuit are Bridgestone Americas and Wildcat Creek, Inc – whose president is…you guessed it, Jerry Lambert.
Yesterday, Sony released short statement as to why they’re suing Jerry Lambert, his ad agency and Bridgestone.
“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.” – Dan Race, Senior Director of Corporate Communications
Sony accuses Lambert of causing confusion in the video game market (which he did), causing damage to Sony and violating the Lanham Act (prohibiting false advertising).
I’d show you the ad but all traces of Lambert were quickly removed from future airings.
I mean, come on. When that Bridgestone ad hit the airwaves, every gamer had something to say about it on Twitter, myself included. It was weird seeing a guy who was literally the face of Sony (and helped boost their sales) for the last few years in a different commercial now enjoying a Wii? What the F?
To put it in perspective, it would be like Mario becoming a spokesperson for Xbox…it’s just weird.
But seriously, man; did you REALLY think it was gonna be okay for you to be in another ad that SPECIFICALLY features a product from a DIRECT competitor of Sony’s?
This is one of those instances where being known for one role for the rest of your life can sometimes bite you in the ass and in Lambert’s case, it’s a pretty big bite.
To be continued…
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