A wacky artist who was charged with relabeling bottles of Gatorade with images of Tiger Woods, his wife Elin Nordegren and the word ‘Unfaithful’ has been released from custody.
Jason Eric Kay, 38, appeared at US District Court in Denver Thursday where he was charged with three product tampering counts after he reportedly relabeled the soft drinks and placed them on Front Range grocery shelves.
Food and Drug Administration agent Daniel Burke revealed that Kay told him he made the labels as pop art and didn’t think he was doing anything wrong.
If found guilty, the artist from Longmont, Colorado could serve up to five years in jail for tampering with the products following the Tiger Woods sex scandal.
Kay’s lawyer Paul McCormick said that his client “took responsibility for his actions” and U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen Tafoya released Kay on a personal recognizance bond.
Court documents say Kay sent an e-mail to PepsiCo, Gatorade’s parent company, in which he offered to create the labels as a marketing campaign for the company.
PepsiCo contacted the FDA and complained that several 1-quart bottles of Tropical-Mango Gatorade had been relabeled and placed on shelves at King Soopers and Safeway stores in Erie, Boulder, Longmont and Broomfield, Colorado.
The FDA estimated that Kay distributed about 67 relabeled Gatorade bottles. He reportedly told the agent that he wanted to get people talking about why Gatorade dropped their Tiger Woods campaign.
“He said he felt that the company should be happy because he was providing them with positive press,” Burke wrote in the affidavit.
The world’s number one golfer has lost a slew of endorsements since his fight with Elin Nordegren and subsequent revelation of his multiple affairs – AT @T Inc and Accenture have dropped the star.
Gillette, a unit of the Procter & Gamble Co., also has said it won’t air ads for its razors that include Woods or include him in public appearances.
Swiss watch maker Tag Heuer, a unit of luxury goods empire LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, also said that it would “downscale” its use of golfer Tiger Woods’ image in its advertising campaigns for the foreseeable future.
Electronic Arts Inc., which puts out the Tiger Woods PGA Tour series of golf video games, has not said what its plans are for the franchise. Nike Inc. and PepsiCo Inc.’s Gatorade are other big sponsors that haven’t severed their ties – Kay is next scheduled to appear in court on February 11, 2010.