Sony settles lawsuit with Kevin Butler actor

Jerry Lambert agrees to not endorse any of Sony's competitors for two years.

Jerry Lambert, the actor who played Kevin Butler in dozens of PlayStation adverts, has settled a lawsuit with Sony over his appearance in a commercial for Bridgestone tyres.

As part of the terms of the settlement, reported by MediaPost, Lambert admitted that the advertisement may have caused confusion and that his contract with Sony meant he was unable to promote products from other video game companies.

Lambert has agreed to spend the next two years not appearing to promote "any other video game or computer entertainment system or video game company." Once Lambert's two years on the naughty step have played out, he has also agreed to spend the next two years giving Sony the heads-up in any subsequent advertisement which endorses a competitor's product.

The Kevin Butler character still remains in the possession of Sony, as you might expect, although we haven't seen Sony use the character in a while.

The original lawsuit came about in September 2012 after Lambert was seen playing a Nintendo Wii in a US advertisement for the tyre manufacturer Bridgestone, with players able to pick up one of Nintendo's consoles as part of a promotion.

Later the advert was edited to remove Lambert, as Sony alleged that its contract with Lambert stopped him from endorsing its competitors and that Bridgestone had essentially poached the Kevin Butler character. Bridgestone, however, denied that Kevin Butler was featured in the advertisement.

"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," said Sony at the time.

While Sony and Lambert have now settled their differences, the publisher is still engaged in a legal tussle with Bridgestone.

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Hi! I'm Martin, for some reason or another I have managed to convince the people who run GameSpot that I am actually wor

Discussion

126 comments
kumorihasaki
kumorihasaki

Poor guy just wants to act!  Man's gotta eat!

obsequies
obsequies

who cares, those commercials were crap

CraigNinten
CraigNinten

Here's some butter for Sony's sore ass.

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

This is ridiculous. he should be able to appear in what he wants. how would it cause confusion? he was in a sony advert advertising a sony product then he was advertising the wii. now if i wanted the ps 3 it is not going to confuse me into buying a wii because some guy was in the ad. As it stands i have wii xbox 360 and ps 3 but if i was out to buy one of them some guy appearing in saparate companies commercials is not going to confuse anyone.

rasputin177
rasputin177

I love how many people are making smart a** remarks on this article yet are clearly "missing" something themselves. The spelling of "tyre" is fine. He is able to work in just about anything he wants to except if it has anything to do with a Wii or Xbox. What are there no other paying jobs for actors that don't have to do with a video game platform? I didn't love any of the Butler commercials but I also can't think of anything by Xbox or even Wii that stuck out in my mind more.

theKSMM
theKSMM

It's a shame they scrapped the Kevin Butler commercials.  Those were the funniest ads in the gaming world behind those squirrels and their "portable nut."

mamelon2012
mamelon2012

question... are tyres the same thing as tires? 

SeAzhrei
SeAzhrei

Eff you Sony. Also the PS3 has sucked hard since day one. Kingdom Hearts 3 (or is it 4 now) is literally the only reason I'd bother buying one at this point. And thats looking less likely by the day.

Tony-Baxter
Tony-Baxter

The Wii won this gen anyways!

The only damage that could have been done was for him to play a X360.

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

The commercial was for car tires from Bridgestone. But a Nintendo wii just happened to be in the commerical. Kevin cannot be held to blame.

Dirk_McHardpeck
Dirk_McHardpeck

I hate when companies use the argument that someone's actions "creates confusion in the marketplace" because what they're essentially saying is "our customers are so stupid that they can't tell that actors some times pretend to be more then one character". You know what Sony? We're not that stupid and I'll thank you to not make us your excuse for your frivolous control freak lawsuits.

CoUGHB
CoUGHB

The commercials with this guy were a little funny, but he seems replaceable. I don't know all the details but why would Sony even want to keep this guy around? Hire someone else.

Kerrizma
Kerrizma

I stuck a bag of microwave popcorn into the drive slot of my PS3 but it didn't pop.... Clearly the PS3 does NOT do everything.  Kevin lied to me......

ice-milk
ice-milk

What the fuck is wrong with this world...


leeko_link
leeko_link

I hate how Sony kept on Lik-Sang-ning other ppl. Now they just Lik-Sang Jerry Lambert. With Sony around, everyone is losing work.

Arbalon
Arbalon

Lots of drama over one guy. We all know how crucial Kevin Butler is.. hah

Saketume
Saketume

" he has also agreed to spend the next two years giving Sony the heads-up in any subsequent advertisement which endorses a competitor's product. "

Isn't that illegal?

gplayer5
gplayer5

I love how he spells "tyre..." It's "tire." Don't you guys have spell check? lol

camyers1310
camyers1310

While a little ridiculous - it makes sense and it WAS in the contract. Enough said. And way to go Sony for keeping it classy and settling this without any more fuss. 


Now, for Bridgestone - I don't know if this will go far. It wasn't like Bridgestone was trying to promote their intellectual property with the Michilan Man. Confusion? Sure. But intended thievery? No.

freesoulvw
freesoulvw

First rule of SCEA is don't talk about SCEA.

shiss27
shiss27

What ever happened to Marcus, PSP?

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

If you work for Sony you work for Sony for life weather you still work for Sony of not.

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

At first I thought this was stupid. Bridgestone isn't a competing company.

Then I read the line about the Wii.

He should have known better, you don't play for both teams man.

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

Sony are a bunch of tools...  The dude did nothing wrong.   Agreed w/below posts:  The Kevin Butler commercials are literally the ONLY memorable commercials in Sony's history.

Kravyn81
Kravyn81

Well Sony, the guy's gotta eat. How about using him to make more KB commercials? God knows you suck at advertising and the KB character is the best thing you've ever come up with. And what do you do? You let it languish and force the guy to look for other work.

Tekken312
Tekken312

Thought his name was actually Kevin Butler...

commanderxp90
commanderxp90

That's pretty sucked news.  We miss you, Butler! :[ 

shadow6323
shadow6323

@mamelon2012 Yes, I believe "Tyres" is the UK, or english version of our way of spelling "Tire"

I believe it's considered to be that way so as not to be confused with a car Tire, or to tire of something/ grow tired. 

iempire68
iempire68

@SeAzhrei Right, it sucks..... It hasn't sold millions of consoles. Because you are a fanboy of one system, that makes it suck. Congrats on being the official opinion of every gamer on the earth. 

rasputin177
rasputin177

@SeAzhrei I just don't get it. I don't like Halo so I have no reason to go buy an Xbox. There are quite a few games that are only on PS3 that I enjoy so thats the system I play but I don't have any ill will towards Xbox. I am not going to tell it to go "eff itself" because I don't own one. Grow up and find a real issue to get upset about.

CoUGHB
CoUGHB

@CivilizedPsycho I was wondering the same thing. He doesn't seem that special anyways. His commercials were charming but Sony can surely top them.....

megakick
megakick

@CivilizedPsycho Because Sony can't come up with their own ideas. Sony, copy & paste. This has been done before, SEGA! Segata Sanshiro is so much better....

Saketume
Saketume

@gplayer5 Both are valid ways to spell the word.

I prefer the spelling "tyre" however because I tire of the misunderstandings caused by the double meaning of the other way to spell it.

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

@Pyrosa I gotta defend Sony on this one. Kevin Butler , at one time, was a big part of their ad campaigns. He even appeared at some E3s , representing Sony. So if this were just a Bridgestone commercial I could understand, but it's also promoting a free Wii. I side with Sony on this one.

ahpuck
ahpuck

@Pyrosa " Lambert admitted that the advertisement may have caused confusion" yeah, he did nothing wrong. He had something good going but ruined it. Hopefully they will work things out and he can come back. He is quite funny.

Saketume
Saketume

@WCK619 

tyre noun UK (US tire)

Definition

a thick rubber ring, often filled with air, which is fitted around the outer edge of the wheel of a vehicle, allowing the vehicle to stick to the road surface and to travel over the ground more easily

I've got a flat tyre (= the air has gone out of it).He was driving along the motorway when his tyre burst.I keep a spare tyre in the back of the car.

You're welcome

Kane04
Kane04


 He was playing a Wii allegedly with the "mannerisms" of Kevin Butler,  a character owned by Sony.

SeAzhrei
SeAzhrei

@iempire68 @SeAzhrei Dear Late to the party Ego Person,

Got it halfway. I am a "fan" of one system. Where my positive experiences with the other can be counted on one hand. THAT makes it suck. This might shock you but opinion CAN in fact be based on knowledge and experience. Yes even on teh interwebs! Shocking, I know. Now please continue looking for things to take offense to.

WilliamRLBaker
WilliamRLBaker

@Saketume @gplayer5 one has to be pretty stupid to misunderstand tire in this context...

gplayer5
gplayer5

@Llama345 @gplayer5 Nope, I don't. Never been to Europe. The dictionaries I have read confirm "tire" is definitely the correct way to spell it. However there has been much controversy over the "tyre" spelling.

Proof. (under etymology and spelling)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tire

btw, my original posting was a joke. No need to get all offended for nothing.

SeAzhrei
SeAzhrei

@iempire68 Oooo defensive aren't we? "I'm not being defensive!1!" Yeah. I mean obviously giving one's unambiguous view of sony's handling of the Jerry Lambert thing is the dictionary definition of childish. Unlike sony's handling of the Jerry Lambert thing. And unlike walking down the street yelling fanboy at random passers-by. Almost a month after I'd given a bit more detailed reasons for those views, too. Honestly I'd call you a troll but I've already figured out you aren't one. Like everyone else you're just tired of the petty spite for no apparent reason and have a hard time accepting when someone actually has complaints based on something other than hearsay. Which is cool. Just stop projecting it onto everyone else. kthxby

iempire68
iempire68

@SeAzhrei @iempire68 I'm not offended at all. I actually don't care what system you prefer. Your comment is just childish so I commented. See, you felt need to post an opinion and I can reply to your opinion. Don't post things if you can't take it.