Bridgestone: Kevin Butler Not in Our Commercial

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by GamerzHell9137, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. GamerzHell9137
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    Member GamerzHell9137 GBAtemp Psycho!

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    When word first broke of Sony suing Bridgestone over actor Jerry Lambert's appearance in a Bridgestone commercial, it created in equal parts surprise and intrigue.
    Here is a case of a relatively unknown actor becoming prominent within the gaming community for his role as "Kevin Butler".
    Perhaps too prominent, as Sony believes Bridgestone using Jerry Lambert in its commercial advertising a Wii competition represents an "intent of unfairly capitalizing on the consumer goodwill generated by 'Kevin Butler'," as stated in the lawsuit.

    Bridgestone has responded specifically to this allegation, saying that: "Mr. Lambert is one of the actors who appeared in the commercial as a Bridgestone engineer...Bridgestone denies that 'Kevin Butler' appears in the Bridgestone commercial discussed herein and thus denies that he speaks or does anything whatsoever in the commercial."
    This case is boiling down to whether or not an actor's specific role can become so well known that just his appearance on a similar or competing product's advertisement causes confusion among consumers.
    Jerry Lambert certainly became known in gaming circles for his Kevin Butler role, but does appearing in a Bridgestone tire commercial confuse the gaming audience?
    That question will be of chief concern during the lawsuit, providing Sony does not pull the lawsuit before the October 12th deadline.
    [​IMG]


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  2. retrodoctor

    Banned retrodoctor Banned

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    But he's right there.
     
  3. Fear Zoa

    Member Fear Zoa This... This is the world we live in

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    I remember the second I saw that commercial I was like "Sony is going to be pissed" and alas it appears they are. Can a corporation really own an actor simply because they once played a prominent roll in the companies advertisement? It seems like Sony is basically saying "we made you famous so now we own you" which is a pretty scary thought honestly. If i actually believed in the United States legal systems ability to be fair i'd say nothing will come of it, but I've long since game up on seeing any justice in our justice system.
     
  4. emigre

    Member emigre Has complex motives

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    If Jerry Lambert signed an exclusive contract with Sony to only advertise the Playstation Brand and not to advertise overtly or covertly brands of competitors than Sony have a case. My educated guess is that Lambert and his agency had an agreement with Sony and Playstation brand exclusivity, because y'know that would be basic business sense. Lambert starring in an advert which promotes a competitor's product goes against that contract. In effect, it would be reasonable to presume Sony beleive Lambert and his agency have breached their contract. Which to be honest actually sounds reasonable.
     
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  5. Gahars

    Member Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

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    Watching this legal battle between the former VP of Everything and Sony is just heartbreaking, in a "watching your parents fight" sort of way.
     
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  6. soulx

    Member soulx GBAtemp Legend

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    The lawsuit doesn't actually mention a contract but "Trademark Infringement (Lanham Act)" instead. Which is ridiculous.
     
  7. Foxi4

    Reporter Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Kevin Butler is not a real person - it's a persona. The issue is whether or not Jerry Lambert (the actor) used the same "approach" in this commercial and Sony's one. It's a burden of playing a big, popular role as an actor. Sony believes that since he's identified as "Kevin Butler", his appereance in a commercial that features hardware of their competitor may have been harmful for their image - it's a conflict of interest.

    I *think* that Sony "owns" the "Kevin Butler" persona, and if Jerry "used it" in this commercial (similar approach and acting style) he "infringed" upon it, at least that's what I understand from all this.
     
  8. emigre

    Member emigre Has complex motives

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    Based off what I read there's a breach of contract allegation. RE:Lanham Act, based off what I'm going to be blunt and say I only have a basic understanding about it, because firsty, I am British and secondly my background is in political science.
     
  9. narutofan777

    Member narutofan777 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    i think sony is acting foolish. I mean they haven't even bothered with the kevin butler character for awhile.
     

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