Or, at least, that’s how Sony’s marketing department intended for things to go down. It’s too bad, then, that Bridgestone tires hired Jerry Lambert to appear in one of their ads while excitedly gaming on Nintendo’s Wii.
Kevin Butler, the champion of everything that is Sony, had done something so unspeakably horrible that the PlayStation manufacturer has elected to throw down the legal gauntlet and sue his pants off.
That’s right, Jerry Lambert and Bridgestone Tires are being sued for their recent ad campaign. Here’s what Sony offered to Kotaku regarding their decision to take legal action.
Sony Computer Entertainment America filed a law suit 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. 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.
I’ll admit it: the first thing I thought when I saw the Bridgestone ad with Kevin Butler rocking the Wii was something like, “man, Sony’s gonna be pissed.” They are, and I really can’t blame them. It’s not like Lambert played Butler in a single ad and moved on to other things. No, Lambert defined Sony for years. He even spoke at their E3 conference a few years back.
Where do you stand on this suit? Justified or unnecessary?