News Article

Bridgestone Denies Use of Kevin Butler Character in Commercial

Posted by Sammy Barker

Shades of grey

The controversial Bridgestone commercial featuring Kevin Butler actor Jerry Lambert was aired three days after the star’s contract with Sony expired, according to a story on the Hollywood Reporter. However, the performer was bound by an “exclusivity clause” that prevented Lambert from providing his services to competing video game manufacturers such as Nintendo. As such, flaunting Mario Kart Wii on public television probably wasn’t the actor’s greatest idea.

In a statement yesterday, Sony noted that “use of the Kevin Butler character to sell products other than those from PlayStation misappropriates Sony's intellectual property”. However, Bridgestone has responded that it never used the bogus PlayStation executive in its commercial.

"Mr. Lambert is one of the actors who appeared in the commercial as a Bridgestone engineer," the company stated. "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."

Exactly how Sony is going to prove that the Butler character was used in the advertisement is unknown. We suspect that the fallout from this story is going to run for a while longer yet.

[via hollywoodreporter.com]

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User Comments (7)

rjejr

#1

rjejr said:

Well here's a first, I'm reposting a post that I reposted yesterday - the trifecta!!!

I wrote this on yesterday'a article but I'm still standing by it, and I bet the judge does as well -
"He signed a "non-compete" contract? So when did Sony start selling automobile tires?"
I've seen the commercial and I don't recall him being refered to as Kevin Butler or wearing a Sony suit or smack talking Sony. I know why Sony would sue - when you have lawyers on retainer who are getting paid by the billable hour the lawyers are going to do whatever they can, but that doesn't make it a win.

Tokool2007

#2

Tokool2007 said:

Sony should have payed him more and kept him on board and it wouldn't have happened in the 1st place.

Kayoss

#4

Kayoss said:

Yes Kevin butler was not portrayed in the commercial, but the person who played Kevin butler signed a non compete contract. Even if they never said who this person was but most people who knows who Kevin butler will assume that he is playing the role of Kevin butler. He was clearly seen holding a Nintendo wii controller and that violated his contract. Contracts exist to protect both parties.

Gamer83

#5

Gamer83 said:

I think many times Sony gets ripped unfairly for stuff but in this instance the company is just being stupid. The way its acting in this case is going to be more damaging to the company than the actor who plays Kevin Butler playing a game on the Wii will be. At some point you just have to let something go and move on.

Kayoss

#6

Kayoss said:

@Gamer83
The problem here is that they invested a lot of money on "Kevin Butler" to promote their Playstation brand, they even have him in an upcoming game (little big planet race karting) . This in my mind is a conflict of interest on the actor. He signed a "Non-Compete" contract. It did say that the contract expire 3 days before the commercial was aired, but that means that he was still obligated by the contract while they were still in production of the bridgestone commercial. The commercial never really identify or stated who this actor was suppose to be. Never gave him a name or alias...one could only assume that any playstation fans will first think this is a Sony and Bridgestone collaboration commmercial because the "Kevin Butler" actor is in it. But instead the actor is seen holding and "Promoting" the nintendo wii controller. Yes it is a little petty, but i understand why Sony sued because they are protecting their brand and their investments in this "Kevin Butler" character. What do they do now since they promise exclusive Kevin Butler DLC for preordering LBP racing Kart? They spent money making this DLC, now because of this they have to scrap the DLC and spend more money to offer pre-existing pre-orders. Customers can actually sue Sony for breach of terms and contracts on Preorders.

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