Man Arrested in Tiger Gatorade Label Hoax

Published January 14, 2010

Federal authorities arrested a Colorado man who allegedly relabeled bottles of Gatorade with pictures of golf star Tiger Woods and his wife and the word "unfaithful" as part of a pop art stunt, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Federal prosecutors in Denver on Wednesday charged Jason Eric Kay, 38, with misbranding and altering food labels.

According to an affidavit signed by a Food and Drug Administration criminal investigation agent, Kay, an unemployed artist, bought one-quart bottles of Tropical Mango flavor Gatorade at stores in the Denver area and relabeled the bottles with labels he created using a photocopier at Kinko's. The bottles were unopened and the product inside wasn't tampered with. The bar codes functioned. The new label contained a Yahoo e-mail address to contact the artist.

The FDA agent said that Kay reported that he was trying to emulate Andy Warhol, who drew attention with pop art pieces based on Campbell's Soup can labels and other commercial products. Kay said he chose the Tiger Woods image because he wanted to "get people talking about how stupid the whole thing with Tiger Woods is," according to the FDA agent.

Kay contacted PepsiCo Inc., which produces Gatorade, to suggest working together, the FDA affidavit says. "This is the cheapest marketing campaign you could ever participate in," Kay wrote in an e-mail cited in the FDA affidavit. "It is good for Gatorade and good for art."

Kay, in his contact with PepsiCo, provided his phone number and e-mail address, which is the same one FDA investigators used to find him.

Written by <P>By BET.com Staff</P>

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