You know Jerry Lambert. He’s “Kevin Butler”, the suit-and-tie-wearing, game-obsessd exec of many titles in PlayStation ads. A refresher:
Well, the real life execs at Sony recently sued Lambert for breach of contract after he acted in a Bridgestone tire ad in which he played Mario Kart Wii. Sony accused Lambert and Bridgstone of filching the Butler character, and the terms of the settlement make it quite clear who Kevin Butler belongs to:
Lambert agreed not to appear in any ad or promotion that features or even mentions “any other video game or computer entertainment system or video game company” for a period of two years.
Lambert can do video game commercials again once the two years are up, although the Kevin Butler character remains the property of Sony and Lambert is barred from playing the character without Sony’s permission. For the first two years that he is eligible to do video game commercials again, Lambert also agreed to give Sony notice and provide the company with sufficient details so that it “can assess whether or not Lambert’s intended performance violates [Sony’s] rights in the Kevin Butler character.”
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Sony may be overstating just how effective and hilarious a character Kevin Butler is, but, hey, at least they are creating and defending some original IP somewhere!