I haven't seen the ad, but supposedly the actor acts in a very Kevin Butler-like way while advertising for a direct competitor of Sony. If that is true, it's no wonder they're reacting.
I can't find the ad online anymore, but it didn't come off as the same character to me. He's more goofy, IIRC. Plus, he's not even the lead in the commercial.
It seems he's going to be edited out of the commercial now, too.
Yeah they apparently digitally removed
the actor from the commercial, which I find hysterical and frightening at the same time.
It's apparently reached the point where you can just digitally remove somebody's existence in video if it offends you.
My big question is, if the guy had been holding a PS3-style controller in the ad, would Sony then have paid it no attention? I mean, it's an ad for tires, and he's just goofing off in the background. They seem to be saying that the actor is permanently attached to the Kevin Butler character and any commercial work he does will be seen as such. Or is it only if he has a console controller in his hand?
Well, in the ad, the tire company was running a promotion where you'd get a free Wii, and he was talking about how awesome Mario Kart is. So it was a little specific.
If you do a commercial, your contract usually keeps you from doing any other commercials in the same category for a period of time. If you do a cough medicine commercial, for example, you can't do another cold remedy commercial. That's obvious, of course. However, if you're involved in a larger campaign, the restrictions are much more limiting.
I worked with the Verizon Wireless guy a couple of times, and apart from the words "Can you hear me now" having lost all context and meaning from repetition (a Verizon person had to be on hand to make sure it was coming out correctly), it seemed the biggest change for him was not really being able to do anything else, acting-wise, apart from some short films. Of course, he was also talking about his house on the water in Connecticut, so it's probably okay for the most part.