Bridgestone isn’t taking Sony’s claims that a recent commercial featuring Kevin Butler actor Jerry Lambert infringed on its intellectual property lying down. The tire company issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter last week saying that the complaint and legal threats were meritless, as the fictional Sony executive did not actually appear in the ad for a promotion involving Nintendo Wiis.
(The ad has been removed from YouTube, but GoNintendo has embedded another copy.)
“Mr. Lambert is one of the actors who appeared in the commercial as a Bridgestone engineer,” Bridgestone said. “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.”
Sony Computer Entertainment America claims Lambert’s contract for its PlayStation ads included an exclusivity agreement which stipulated he must not appear in promotional materials for competitors, such as Nintendo. The contract expired only days before the ad aired, meaning the commercial was produced while he was still under contract.
One of the many wrinkles of this odd case will be determining whether Lambert actually promoted Nintendo in the Bridgestone commercial.