The financial-services company has pressured CNN and Newsweek to hold off running coalition ads critical of Fidelity’s investment in PetroChina, a company whose parent, China National Petroleum, is one of Sudan’s largest oil-industry partners.
Clearly, when it comes to ad clout, Fidelity has the upper hand. The Save Darfur Coalition spent $18.9 million on advertising last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence, compared with Fidelity’s $230 million.
The coalition has also homed in on Berkshire Hathaway Corp. — another top investor in PetroChina — without incident. During a stockholders’ meeting last week in Nebraska, the coalition placed Berkshire-targeted ads on billboards in Omaha as well as in the Omaha World Herald and the regional USA Today.
Fidelity Flexes Its Media Muscle
I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.