Remember the hullabaloo surrounding Kevin Butler late last year? It emerged that Sony was suing the character’s actor Jerry Lambert after he appeared in a Bridgestone commercial playing on a Nintendo Wii. At the time, the platform holder claimed that the advertisement caused “confusion in the market and [...] damage to Sony”. So, off the manufacturer trotted to court.
Sony’s argument was that Lambert was in breach of his contract. According to the deal between the two parties, the performer was forbidden from working with any of the platform holder’s competitors, including Nintendo. The agreement expired in August 2012, just three days prior to the actor appearing in the aforementioned Bridgestone commercial parading the Wii.
Lambert has since admitted that the advertisement may have caused confusion amongst consumers, and has agreed not to appear in any promotion that mentions “any other video game or computer entertainment system or video game company" for a period of two years. Once that time has elapsed, he must provide Sony with prior notice of any video game commercials that he may wish to work on, so that the company "can assess whether or not Lambert's intended performance violates [its] rights in the Kevin Butler character". That seems a bit excessive to us.
Meanwhile, the platform holder is still battling it out with Bridgestone, which claims no wrong doing. In a statement issued in early October, the tyre manufacturer noted: "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."