Liverpool FC commercial partner Dunkin' Donuts has apologised for an "insensitive" social media campaign that offended a number of football fans.
The brand's Twitter page posted an image of a Dunkin' Donuts-modified Liverpool crest which replaced the club's iconic "You'll Never Walk Alone" mantra with the tagline "America Runs on Dunkin' " and swapped the two eternal flames remembering victims of the Hillsborough disaster with a pair of plastic coffee cups.
Other modifications included donuts and coffee where the Shankly Gates should be and the Dunkin' Donuts "DD" logo where the liver bird usually features. The accompanying tweet read: "Love the LFC crest? Tweet us what you'd want on your personal crest and we might surprise you with your own!"
The image triggered an angry reaction from some fans on social media who accused Dunkin' of being disrespectful.
The official company statement read:
We apologize for any insensitivity regarding our tweet supporting an LFC-themed promotion featuring the LFC crest.
As a proud partner of LFC, we did not intend any offence, particularly to the club's supporters. We have removed the tweet and halted the campaign immediately.
Dunkin' Donuts, which sells cheap coffee and pastries, plans to have 150 outlets set up in the UK by 2018. In January last year the American company signed a multi-million deal with Liverpool to become the club's official "coffee, tea and bakery provider".