Richards Group founder Stan Richards exits as “too black” comment puts agency in play

What we might call institutional ‘wokeness’ has claimed another victim, Richards Group founder and creative director Stan Richards, 87, has, in his own words, “fired himself” after being clocked saying a Motel 6 ad was “too black.”

He’s said he meant it wasn’t inclusive enough. Actually his further comment that it would be too much for Motel 6’s ‘white supremacist” customer base would have been a nail in this particular coffin on its own.

Motel 6 has fired the agency after 35 years and other clients have followed suit. Inevitable perhaps but a sad way for Richards, who entered the business as a freelance creative in 1953, to leave the stage. Dallas agency Richards Group is the biggest independent creative agency in the US, resisting holding company blandishments for years.

It may fall into their hands now.

Update

Here’s Stan’s apology to his students at the University of Texas.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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