Sony sues over "Kevin Butler" actor

Posted by Mike Luttrell

Sony has filed a lawsuit because another company has begun using the same actor in its commercials that it used to have in its Playstation ads.

For years, Jerry Lambert was the quasi official spokesperson for Sony Computer Entertainment America. His persona "Kevin Butler" spread messages about the accessibility of the Playstation brand.

However, these days, Lambert is no longer associated with Sony commercials and has gone on scoring new acting deals. One such deal is a new advertising campaign with Bridgestone Tires.

That seems harmless enough, except for the fact that the company is currently running a promotion where customers can win a Nintendo Wii console. Lambert appears in commercials for this promotion, in a very similar persona as his Playstation-peddling alter ego.

As a result, Sony has filed a lawsuit against Bridgestone, as well as the advertising agency headed by Lambert.

Sony director of corporate communications Dan Race released a statement to GamesBeat.com, saying, "Sony Computer Entertainment America filed a lawsuit against Bridgestone and Wildcat Creek, Inc. on September 11. The claims are based on violations of the Lanham Act, misappropriation, breach of contract and tortious interference with a contractual relationship," he said.

He continued, "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."