Sony Sues Kevin Butler for Advertising the Wii, Tires

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Darks63:
And to think if Sony had let this pass nobody would have ever commented on this and the Wii would have indirectly gotten free ad time via Sony themselves, Never mind the Damage this is doing to their image.

Sony's used to getting their way. They're so used to getting their way that they probably don't think about the repercussions.

And thus, this is the first time something related to Firestone blew up that wasn't in THEIR face.

I love how this is just showing how the default for people on this forum is just "hate Sony".

This is very clear trademark dilution, which is illegal under the Lanham act. Its open and shut. Sony are fully legally in the right here. Also, if you say they weren't trying to emulate the Kevin Butler commercials, you are straight up fucking lying.

If this were any other games company it would be "Bridgestone acted illegally, and should be sued." But because its Sony, they MUST be in the wrong here.

Foolproof:
I love how this is just showing how the default for people on this forum is just "hate Sony".

This is very clear trademark dilution, which is illegal under the Lanham act. Its open and shut. Sony are fully legally in the right here. Also, if you say they weren't trying to emulate the Kevin Butler commercials, you are straight up fucking lying.

If this were any other games company it would be "Bridgestone acted illegally, and should be sued." But because its Sony, they MUST be in the wrong here.

It's not that simple - to assume so is being disingenuous.

Sony seems to have made a number of silly decisions as as of late. If firing the winner of The Tester and their entire PR department wasn't bad enough, now they're suing their glorified official spokesperson for what amounts to a 4-second cameo in a commercial.

The issue here is whether Sony owns the rights to the persona of Jerry Lambert. You are straight-up lying when you say they're clearly emulating the KB commercials - the focus is about cars, with it clearly stating in the advertisement that Nintendo is not affiliated with the promotion. In addition, Lambert is never seen playing the Wii (or even being in the same shot as the screen), nor is he dressed as the character - he's dressed in a lab coat and laughing at someone's comment.

He certainly isn't acting like the character of Kevin Butler - to assume so is admitting you either haven't watched the commercial, or you're just being contrarian for the sake of it.

crazyrabbits:

Foolproof:
I love how this is just showing how the default for people on this forum is just "hate Sony".

This is very clear trademark dilution, which is illegal under the Lanham act. Its open and shut. Sony are fully legally in the right here. Also, if you say they weren't trying to emulate the Kevin Butler commercials, you are straight up fucking lying.

If this were any other games company it would be "Bridgestone acted illegally, and should be sued." But because its Sony, they MUST be in the wrong here.

It's not that simple - to assume so is being disingenuous.

Sony seems to have made a number of silly decisions as as of late. If firing the winner of The Tester and their entire PR department wasn't bad enough, now they're suing their glorified official spokesperson for what amounts to a 4-second cameo in a commercial.

The issue here is whether Sony owns the rights to the persona of Jerry Lambert. You are straight-up lying when you say they're clearly emulating the KB commercials - the focus is about cars, with it clearly stating in the advertisement that Nintendo is not affiliated with the promotion. In addition, Lambert is never seen playing the Wii (or even being in the same shot as the screen), nor is he dressed as the character - he's dressed in a lab coat and laughing at someone's comment.

He certainly isn't acting like the character of Kevin Butler - to assume so is admitting you either haven't watched the commercial, or you're just being contrarian for the sake of it.

I said style, not substance. Yes, the product is tyres, not videogames, but are you honestly telling me its just pure coincidence that they brought Jerry Lambert in on a commercial that just happened to center around Nintendo cross-promotion? Or of him hamming it up like a showgirl on The Price Is Right?

Foolproof:
Are you honestly telling me its just pure coincidence that they brought Jerry Lambert in on a commercial that just happened to center around Nintendo cross-promotion? Or of him hamming it up like a showgirl on The Price Is Right?

There's an entire Bridgestone campaign that's been going on for months, with him in a background role. He was even in a Bridgestone commercial featured during the Super Bowl. He hams it up in all of them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LetCUzYa2Vg (that's him hamming it up at the 0:24 mark)

Again, the issue is whether Sony has the rights to Lambert's likeness, not whether he's being Kevin Butler in that commercial. Bridgestone has enough evidence that he's playing a different character in their campaign, not being KB in a specific one.

I fear this is going to blow up in Sony's face.

It was unethical of Sony to do ads with a fake executive in the first place! They should have done like Daimler, that did similar ads starring their actual chairman.

Formica Archonis:
Wasn't this guy in Geico commercials playing some sort of out-of-touch executive before he started playing Kevin Butler?

Okay, got off my ass and found it, thank you Youtube:

CheckD3:
Maybe if there was more Kevin Butler, he wouldn't have been in the Bridgestone ads in the first place. Shame on Sony, THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS!

Seriously though, this is just a PR nightmare for Sony if you ask me. KB is a beloved face, and we love him not because of the dialog, but how it was presented...by the actor! Sony has no bright and cheery face in this lawsuit, and I doubt anyone even made the connection until they started blowing it up. I saw him in them and said, huh, is that Kevin Butler? And that was it, now I know it's him, and want him to beat Sony's ass...and it's a shame because I'm a PS3 man

He was hired by Sony to promote the PS3 and you can guarentee that there was a clause in that contract that said he couldn't take a job that promoted a rival company (specifically Nintendo and Microsoft). He would have known this and yet still took a job promoting the Wii as a free reward for buying tires. Legally he is in the wrong and will lose the case. It might seem like a dick move but its to prevent someone getting famous (in this example from Sony's ads) and then going to a rival and promoting them and causing a boost in sales in their consoles thanks to his fame that Sony has created. Its a standard clause in work contracts like these.

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