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 at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.