Sony's affable pitchman Kevin Butler was a great advertising figurehead for the PlayStation brand for years, but those days seem to be behind him -- Sony is suing Wildcat Creek, Inc., the adverting company owned by Jerry Lambert, the actor who plays Kevin Butler, for violating their trademark on the character in a series of ads for Firestone tires.
According to Sony, the company "invested significant resources in bringing the Kevin Butler character to life and he’s become an iconic personality directly associated with PlayStation products over the years. Use of the Kevin Butler character to sell products other than those from PlayStation misappropriates Sony’s intellectual property, creates confusion in the market, and causes damage to Sony."
"The claims are based on violations of the Lanham Act, misappropriation, breach of contract and tortious interference with a contractual relationship," Sony said in a statement.
Perhaps the most damning commercial featuring Lambert seems to show him in a lab-coat, playing Mario Kart. The commercial was on YouTube, reportedly, but has since been pulled, but not before someone got a screencap. You can see it above. If that is Lambert playing with a Wii, you could probably understand why Sony would be a bit troubled.
Below, I've embedded a video from brighter days, when Lambert/Butler was a guest of X-Play.