The World: New York - Fidelity accused of influencing 'unfair' ads delay

Fidelity Investments, the US financial services company, has been accused of using its muscle unfairly by putting pressure on media owners not to run ads highlighting its controversial involvement in the troubled Darfur region of Sudan.

The company, which spends £230 million a year on advertising, is said to have pressured CNN and Newsweek to hold off running ads by the Save Darfur Coalition.

The ads, produced by the GMMB agency in Washington, claimed that by investing in PetroChina, whose parent is one of Sudan's largest oil industry partners, Fidelity was effectively supporting genocide in the country.

CNN has agreed to postpone running the ad for two weeks. Fidelity claimed the ad was misleading and had portrayed the company "wrongly and unfairly".