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Friday, December 23, 2005
Culpepper spot pullled in wake of 'love boat' charges

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- FedEx Corp. was pulling a television ad with Daunte Culpepper because the Minnesota Vikings quarterback was charged in the team's boat party scandal, according to published reports.

Daunte Culpepper
Culpepper

"Upon learning of the criminal charges, we pulled [the ad] immediately," FedEx spokesman Ryan Furby told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis for a story on Friday. "That was the only deal we had with him. There is no ongoing relationship."

On Friday, a message left with Furby was not returned and FedEx referred questions about the matter to spokeswoman Carla Boyd, who refused to discuss Furby's comment or confirm that the ad was pulled.

"FedEx considers a variety of factors in determining which advertising spots will run at a given time," she told The Associated Press.

Culpepper's agent, Mason Ashe, said Friday he was surprised when he first heard the news, and that he received no official word from the company.

"I'm not sure that he's been dropped," Ashe said. "My understanding is that his commercial has been used on and off as a normal rotation."

Ashe said he thought Culpepper and FedEx had a good relationship, and said he thought Furby's reaction was "a premature conclusion because there is no evidence."

Culpepper is accused of touching a naked woman in public during a lap dance at an Oct. 6 boat party on Lake Minnetonka. Prosecutors charged him on Dec. 15 with three misdemeanors alleging disorderly and lewd behavior. Three other Vikings were also charged.

Culpepper's attorney, Earl Gray, did not return a phone message left Friday by The Associated Press. Gray has said his client is innocent and will fight the charges.

Culpepper is recovering from knee surgery after a season-ending injury Oct. 30 in a 38-13 loss at Carolina.