The ongoing legal battle between Kevin Butler (real name Jerry Lambert) and Sony has finally come to an end as both parties have reached a settlement in their breach of contract suit. For those that might not know, Lambert (along with Bridgestone Tires) was being sued by Sony, who alleged the actor was promoting a competing product.
The commercial in question, one of many Bridgestone Tires spots to feature Lambert, depicts the actor using Nintendo’s Wii game console. At the time, Bridgestone was running a promotion that offered a free Wii to any customers who purchased four new tires, so the Wii was only on display as some form of brand cooperation.
Nevertheless the TV spot landed Lambert in a world of trouble, as Sony saw the commercial as promotion not just for Bridgestone but for the Wii as well. The PS3 manufacturer promptly discontinued any collaboration with Lambert – ostensibly killing off the Kevin Butler character – and took both him and Bridgestone to court.
And while the litigation between Bridgestone and Sony is still ongoing, Lambert has settled with Sony and agreed not to appear in any video game related commercials for 2 years. The actor is still a recognizable face, and can be seen promoting various other products, but, for all intents and purposes, we can assume Kevin Butler will never see the light of day.
Lambert did acknowledge his appearance in the Bridgestone commercial likely led to some brand confusion, especially since the “character” he portrayed had a similar demeanor to Butler. Who’s to say that Sony was still interested in using the Kevin Butler character, though; this seems more like a case of Sony not wanting other companies capitalizing on a character they created, better known as the VP of Explosions.
It’s a real shame too, as he became one of the best parts of Sony’s marketing campaign – a face for a company that was sorely in need of one. We even hoped he might make it onto the roster for PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, but it’s probably for the best he didn’t.
Are you sad to hear that Kevin Butler is likely no more? Do you think that Jerry Lambert should return to video game commercials in two years?
Source: Media News Daily
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