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Bridgestone denies Sony's Kevin Butler ad confusion claims

Bridgestone isn't taking Sony's claims that a recent commercial featuring Kevin Butler actor Jerry Lambert infringed on its intellectual property lying down. The tire company issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter last week saying that the complaint and legal threats were meritless, as the fictional Sony executive did not actually appear in the ad for a promotion involving Nintendo Wiis.

(The ad has been removed from YouTube, but GoNintendo has embedded another copy.)

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

Kevin Butler was even set to appear as a pre-order bonus Sackboy costume in the upcoming LittleBigPlanet Karting.

Sony Computer Entertainment America claims Lambert's contract for its PlayStation ads included an exclusivity agreement which stipulated he must not appear in promotional materials for competitors, such as Nintendo. The contract expired only days before the ad aired, meaning the commercial was produced while he was still under contract.

One of the many wrinkles of this odd case will be determining whether Lambert actually promoted Nintendo in the Bridgestone commercial.

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3 comments

  • someonetgsn - October 9, 2012 11:34 a.m.

    Is it just me, or is this lawsuit thing a little ridiculous. I do not think it is as bad as that lawsuit over Mojang's "Scrolls", but I could not help laughing while reading this article. I think Jerry Lambert is just doing his job as an actor. I mean it is not like he went out and said "I'm Kevin Butler, I left Sony because Nintendo is way better". I think Sony is confusing who is the actor and who is the fictional character.
  • Redeater - October 9, 2012 11:46 a.m.

    BREAKING NEWS: Sony is being Sony. I remember seeing a few headlines about KB being in a Wii commercial and while I thought it was semi humorous it was gone from my mind in less than a day. Now Sony has turned this into a huge deal and I see it on all over my Pulse headlines. If they would have just let it die no one would have remembered it. Now they look like the Tom Cruise of the corporate world.
  • AqueousBoy - October 9, 2012 12:35 p.m.

    Typically, casting directors are supposed to weed out actors who may have a conflict of interest in the ad - and the onus is not on the actor. The Kevin Butler character was certainly high profile enough that casting on the Bridgestone spot should have known who he was. So either someone really dropped the ball here, or they moved forward knowing he had done all these Sony ads as Kevin Butler, hoping that it would generate some interest as a Nintendo-partnered ad.

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