Stan Richards, founder of Dallas-based The Richards Group, has resigned from the agency following after several major clients left over a statement made by the founder.
According to an Adweek story, Richards had called an ad concept for client Motel 6 “too black,” and indicated that the motel chain’s customers were white supremacists.
Motel 5, Keurig Dr Pepper, Home Depot, The Salvation Army and H-E-B grocery all ended their relationship with the agency.
“In the over four decades I have had the privilege of working at The Richards Group, the agency has never been party to nor tolerated racism in any form,” said Glenn Dady, principal/creative director at the firm in a statement on The Richards Group website.
“We exist to endear brands to all people. Our brand has been tarnished. Like all businesses and organizations, we have a lot of work to do to further societal change. As the person now responsible for all the operations of The Richards Group going forward, I commit to doing everything in my power to stay focused on that goal,” he said.
Dady had been named to lead the agency in December.
The Richards Group is known for a wide variety of popular campaigns, including Chick-fil-A’s famous “Eat Mor Chikin” advertising program, though they no longer represent the chain. .
The firm’s Motel 6 campaigns included the folksy Tom Bodett, which ran for years.
The firm has reported more than $1 billion in billings in recent years.
“We understand and regret the pain and concerns of all those who were deeply troubled by the words our founder spoke. He can’t take them back. We can only ask for forgiveness and promise to learn and be better. We ask our many friends for understanding and prayers as we move forward,” said Dady.