Sony sues Kevin Butler actor
Remembered for his portrayal of Kevin Butler, a fictional executive for a number of departments at PlayStation, Jerry Lambert now faces a lawsuit from Sony itself, over a recent Bridgestone commercial
Since 2009, in two separate ad campaigns, Jerry Lambert has become well known for his portrayal of Kevin Butler, the fictional executive with the ever changing job title, in Sony's PlayStation commercials. The character has remained as a part of Sony's marketing two years longer than originally intended due to positive feedback on the commercials. However, Sony has now sued Lambert's company, Wildcat Creek, Inc; as well as Bridgestone, for an entirely separate commercial.
Jerry Lambert as Kevin Butler, VP of First Person Shooter Relations
The commercial in question was for Bridgestone's Game On Promotion, where the tire company would offer a $70 gift certificate towards the purchase of Nintendo's Wii console when you bought tires from them. In the commercial, Lambert acted in a manner similar to the Kevin Butler character and was seen gaming on a Wii. Sony calls this a breach of contract and trademark infringement. In a statement they made on September 11th, Sony said that "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."
Screenshot from the disputed commercial
Following the lawsuit, Bridgestone removed Jerry Lambert's character from the commercial, and during the final days of September, the Northern District Court of California was informed by Sony's attorneys that they were close to resolving the dispute with Bridgestone internally. The court has replied that Sony has until October 12th to either pursue the lawsuit with a hearing, or withdraw it.