Why Sony Are Suing Their Marketing Character?
Kevin Butler, Sony’s Chief Weaponologist, Regional Manager of War and most importantly, fictional marketing character is being sued by Sony, believe it or not.
The truth is, it’s the actor of Kevin Butler (Jerry Lambert) who’s being sued. Lambert has been featuring in most of Sony’s major Playstation ads for the past 4 years in North America. Lambert’s character, Kevin Butler was the face of both Sony’s ‘It Only Does Everything’ campaign from 2009-2011 and then their ‘Long Live Playstation’ campaign which has been running since 2011.
Sony are suing Lambert on “trademark infringement” grounds due to his non-permitted appearance in Bridgestone Tires’ commercial which promotes the Nintendo Wii. The Wii ad features Lambert playing Mario Kart and focusing on a “Game On” promotion.
According to Sony, Bridgestone Tires featuring Jerry Lambert, a.k.a Kevin Butler, in a Wii ad “causes damage” and creates confusing amongst Playstation fans.
A spokesman from Sony released the following statement:
“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,”
“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.”
After low Vita sales, Sony aren’t doing themselves any favors.