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Marketing

Dunkin’ apologizes to Liverpool fans angered by use of team’s crest to promote doughnuts

Angry Liverpool soccer fans lit up Twitter after Dunkin’ Donuts posted its own version of the team’s crest, one that replaced flames meant to honor 96 fans killed in a sports disaster with cups of iced coffee. “We apologize for any insensitivity regarding our tweet supporting an LFC-themed promotion featuring the LFC Crest,” the Canton-based company said. “As a proud partner of LFC, we did not intend any offense, particularly to the Club’s supporters. We have removed the tweet and halted the campaign immediately.” Liverpool did not immediately respond to a request for comment. John Henry, principal owner of the Liverpool club, also owns The Boston Globe. Dunkin’ signed a multiyear marketing deal and became the team’s official provider of coffee, tea, and baked goods in January 2014. The Liverpool crest is steeped in history. It features the “Liver Bird,” taken from the city’s coat of arms, which Dunkin’ replaced with its own logo. The “Shankly Gates” at the team’s stadium, a nod to the late manager Bill Shankly, are featured across the top, above the title of the team’s anthem, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” Dunkin’ inserted a foam coffee cup and six doughnuts. The crest also features “eternal flames” widely reported to symbolize the memory of fans crushed to death at a game against Nottingham Forest in 1989. “I can not BELIEVE that Dunkin Donuts thought it would be okay to replace the Eternal Flames on Liverpool’s crest with iced coffees,” wrote Twitter user @HoggLoko. — TARYN LUNA

Autos

Rocket scientists hired to figure out why air bags turned deadly

DETROIT — The auto industry, fed up with slow progress toward finding out why some air bags explode with too much force, has hired a Virginia rocket science company to investigate. Ten automakers whose vehicles have been recalled because of problems with Takata Corp. air bags have jointly hired Orbital ATK, a suburban Washington, D.C., company that makes rocket propulsion systems, small arms ammunition, warhead fuses, and missile controls. Air bag inflators from Takata, a Japanese company, can send shrapnel into passenger areas when the explode. At least six people have been killed and 64 injured due to the problem, which surfaced a decade ago. About 17 million cars and trucks have been recalled in the United States and 22 million worldwide to replace the inflators, but Takata has not pinpointed the cause. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Technology

Apple to show off watch on March 9

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple has sent out invitations to a March 9 event in San Francisco at which it will unveil details about the Apple Watch, a person with knowledge the matter said. Last month, chief executive Tim Cook said the smartwatch will be available in April — the first new gadget line under Cook since he took the helm at Apple. The company hasn’t given much information about the watch’s battery life or how much it will cost, other than $349 for the basic version. ‘‘Spring forward,’’ reads the invitation to the event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater. The headline refers to the annual switch to daylight savings time. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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Energy

Spanish conglomerate to buy Berkshire Gas parent

Iberdrola SA, a Spanish energy conglomerate, said it’s buying the parent company of Berkshire Gas, paying about $3 billion in cash and stock for United Illuminating Co. Based in New Haven, it owns several utilities in New England and New York. Iberdrola and UIL said they will invest $6.9 billion in the region’s energy infrastructure over five years. Iberdrola’s American subsidiary is headquartered in New Gloucester, Maine. Recently, the company was contracted to engineer and build a natural gas power plant at Salem Harbor, where a coal-burning plant was shut down last year. Berkshire Gas has bout 193,000 customers in Western Massachusetts, according to UIL’s 2014 annual report. — JACK NEWSHAM

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Energy

Activists trying to breathe life into Cape Wind

Cape Wind may be dead in the water, but climate activists aren’t giving up on the ambitious offshore wind-energy project. In January, after a decade of starts and stops, National Grid and other utilities that had promised to purchase power from Cape Wind pulled out of their contracts, citing the failure by backers of the project to meet key financing deadlines. Without buyers lined up, the project is stalled. But a coalition of environmental groups led by the Better Future Project have kicked off a “hail Mary” campaign, asking National Grid president Marcy Reed to reconsider. The say they have gathered thousands of signatures online in support of Cape Wind, which they printed out and delivered to the utility Thursday. They also expect hundreds of people to rally Saturday on Boston Common, where they will erect oversized pinwheels representing wind turbines. — DAN ADAMS

Retail

Museum celebrates Coca-Cola’s artin a bottle

ATLANTA — As the curvy Coca-Cola bottle celebrates its 100th birthday, an art museum is exploring its origins. ‘‘The Coca-Cola Bottle: An American Icon at 100’’ opens Saturday at Atlanta’s High Museum. Visitors can see original design illustrations, a prototype of the 1915 design, and the work of artists who have been inspired by the now-classic design. The bottle was conceived as a way to distinguish Coca-Cola from imitators. In a 1915 memo, the company asked glass companies for ‘‘a bottle which a person could recognize even if they felt it in the dark, and so shaped that, even if broken, a person could tell at a glance what it was.’’ — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Technology

Google seeks more money from ads in Android app store

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Google will start showing ads in its online store for mobile apps and entertainment as the Internet search leader strives to bring in more revenue from smartphones and tablets. The advertising expansion announced Thursday will provide Google with a new opportunity to profit from its Android software, the world’s most widely used operating system for mobile devices. Google Inc. gives away Android to device makers with built-in features designed to drive more traffic to its search engine and other services, such as its Google Play store for downloading apps. Ads will begin appearing in the Google Play store the next few weeks as part of a test program. Google makes most of its money from the ads shown in its search results, Gmail, and YouTube video library. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

Insurance

MassMutual posts $799m in profit

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. made a profit of $799 million in 2014 and posted record sales in both whole insurance and retirement plans for the year. The Springfield company, which reported earnings Thursday, also said it is positioned to do well this year, too. Its bottom line suffered in 2013, with a $113 million loss, due largely to its purchase of The Hartford Retirement Plans business, the company said. Last year, MassMutual expanded its sales force by 6 percent, to 5,500 financial professionals nationwide. Sales of life insurance were up 20 percent, while retirement plan revenue grew by 23 percent. — DEIRDRE FERNANDES

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Technology

Barnes & Noble to keep Nook digital business after all

NEW YORK — Barnes & Noble will keep its Nook Media digital business, after all. It had planned to combine Nook and its college bookstores into a single company, separate from its other retail operations. But the biggest US brick-and-mortar bookseller, with 649 stores, says keeping Nook where it is will better serve digital customers. Barnes & Noble has been trying to adapt as more people read books on devices — and ward off competition from Amazon.com. It spent years investing in its Nook e-book reader and e-book library, but they have struggled to be profitable. The regular bookstores and the BN.com business have been outperforming Nook. — ASSOCIATED PRESS