Peter Lynch Returns, Again, For Fidelity

BOSTON–Peter Lynch has returned once more in an advertising effort for Fidelity Investments.

Lynch, the company’s vice-chairman and its principal pitchman during the late-1990s, is featured in a full-page ad running this week in The New York Times and other major newspapers. Headlined “What’s next? A perspective from Peter Lynch,” the execution seeks to quell investor jitters in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“My views haven’t changed from 2 weeks ago, 2 years ago or 20 years ago. They won’t 2 or 20 years from now,” Lynch says in the ad. “If you’ve set aside adequate funds for your short-term needs, time is on your side and the stock market has historically been the place to be.” Copy concludes: “If you believe in the strength of the American resolve, hard work and innovation, then take a long-term view and believe in our economic system. I certainly believe.” The company’s year-old tagline, “See yourself succeeding,” does not appear.

Sources said Arnold, Boston, the agency newly awarded the client’s mutual funds and retirement services account, has been asked to craft at least one TV spot with Lynch. Fidelity also works with Gotham, New York and has a large in-house advertising unit.

A Fidelity representative, contending that “all of our agencies contribute to our creative,” said Lynch will continue to be used primarily in “educational executions linked to specific market conditions, but he would not say if TV ads are in the works. Arnold executives declined comment.

Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos of Boston, the shop Arnold replaced last month, crafted the current Lynch ad, in what may prove to be its final assignment for Fidelity.

Lynch was dropped from Fidelity ads a year ago when Hill, Holliday introduced the “See yourself succeeding” campaign, which attempts to show the positive impact Fidelity funds can make on the lives of ordinary people.

Lynch did return in March in a single print effort from Hill, Holliday designed to quell investor fears as the market downturn began in earnest.