Here is a little bit of the back story of what is going on between Sony and Kevin Butler. Jerry Lambert, whom we know as Kevin Butler, is known for his portrayal as a Vice President of PlayStation in commercials and ads. He briefly appeared in a Bridgestone commercial, alongside Troy Aikman and Deion Sanders, during a 2012 Super Bowl commercial.
Since Lambert has been appearing in a series of Bridgestone commercials, since February, he is now part of their new "Game On" promotion that will offer their customers either a $70 American Express gift card or a Nintendo Wii console, shares VentureBeat. In the new commercial, Lambert is seen promoting Mario Kart Wii along with the Wii console for this promotion.
The commercial has been taken down from their official YouTube due to Sony filing a law suit on September 11th against Bridgestone and Wildcat Creek for using the Kevin Butler character to sell products that are not Sony's. The newly edited commercial can be seen HERE.
Here is an official statement from Sony on the matter:
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.
Here is the catch, Bridgestone uses Wildcat Creek, Inc. as their advertising firm. Just who is listed as the president of Wildcat Creek, Inc. on Corporationwiki.com? None other than the Kevin Butler actor himself, Jerry Lambert.
I can completely see where this is a conflict of interest. Whether the commercials contain a competitor like Nintendo or not, Kevin Butler's character was Sony's. They thought him up, they invested the time and money to bring him to life. How is this at all a question in anyone's mind?
I can see how it would create the confusion in the market that Sony is referring to. The best part of all, there is no word from Bridgestone, Wildcat Creek, Inc., or Jerry Lambert himself on this matter. Kevin Butler is supposed to be a pre-order bonus for the upcoming LittleBigPlanet Karting and will the VP of Everything be a final boss in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale?
Again, the video has been taken down and it may be a little hard to make your own judgement. However, if Jerry Lambert was in a commercial as Jerry Lambert, or another character, that would fine. But, with the same mannerisms as Kevin Butler, wouldn't that raise a red flag in his head sayin, "Don't do it?!" Share your opinions below. I'd like to hear your thoughts.