Sony Computer Entertainment and Jerry Lambert (the owner of the advertising firm Wildcat Creek, and the actor who played Sony’s faux-executive Kevin Butler) have reached a settlement over the breach of contract lawsuit that Sony filed against Lambert last September.
The lawsuit originated over Lambert’s appearance in a Bridgestone Ties commercial that showed the actor playing a Wii as part of the company’s “GameOn” promotion that would give customers the choice between a $70 American Express gift card or a Nintendo Wii. Sony claimed that Lambert was playing the Kevin Butler character in the commercial and that it constituted him endorsing a rival video game console, which would be a breach of their contract with the actor.
According to the terms of the settlement Lambert has acknowledged that his contract with Sony does in fact stop him from promoting non-Sony video game systems. He has also agreed that his appearance in the Bridgestone commercial did create “confusion” in the minds of a certain number of consumers who thought he was playing the part of Kevin Butler.
Lambert has agreed that he will not appear in any other ads that even mention “any other video game or computer entertainment system or video game company” for two years. After the two year period has expired Lambert will be able to appear in commercials for non-Sony video games, however, the Kevin Butler character will remain under Sony’s control. The final concession that Lambert agreed to was that he would provide Sony with the full details of any video game commercials that he will be in for the first two years that he is eligible to appear in such ads. This will allow Sony Computer Entertainment to “assess whether or not Lambert’s intended performance violates [Sony’s] rights in the Kevin Butler Character.
While neither party has made any announcements concerning the future of their working relationship, it would be extremely surprising if we ever see Kevin Butler return to a fake-VP position within SCE.