Stan Richards, Founder and CEO of the Richards Group advertising company in Dallas, has resigned.
Richards resignation came one day after Carrollton-based Motel 6 and The Home Depot severed their long-running ties with the agency over remarks made by the agency’s founder.
“If this was a publicly held company, I’d be fired for the comments I made. But we’re not public, so I am firing myself,” said Richards. “Our employees, first and foremost, deserve that.”
The racially insensitive comments made by founder Stan Richards happened during an internal pitch meeting last week involving a proposed advertising campaign for Motel 6.
The 88-year-old founder admitted to using the words “It’s too Black” when reacting to the proposal.
In a statement to NBC 5, Stan Richards writes: “Last week, we were reviewing creative for what was to be a multicultural campaign for one of our clients. Two of our creatives, both white, presented a direction I thought was not multiculturally inclusive enough. I misspoke and commented using words I greatly regret, including three I never should have said: ‘It’s too black.’ To be clear, though, I have never used racial slurs about any ethnic group nor tolerated it from anyone around me. Those words were said innocently, but they were hurtful to members of our staff. I have apologized for that, as I should have. Having spent much of my adult life fighting prejudice, I should have known better.”
The Richards Group said in a press release "Effective immediately, Glenn Dady, a creative director for The Richards Group, will assume full responsibility for all agency operations, creative oversight and new business efforts for the agency. Announced late last year as Stan Richards’ successor, Dady is a 40-year veteran of The Richards Group."
The release continues saying "Richards will step away from all operations."
In the release, Richards was quoted saying... “I made a mistake. The biggest mistake of my life. One I will never be able to adequately explain or take back. All I can say is that I was wrong.”
The Richards Group also said the agency is committed to executing six key initiatives following the announcement.
· Create a new position to influence agency decisions regarding diversity, equity and inclusion
· Execute a formal commitment to specific representation across all disciplines and leadership
· Audit current policies to ensure that they are equitable to all employees
· Conduct bias training for every one of our employees
· Review all current work to ensure that it is culturally relevant
· Commit to tracking our progress
“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 Dady. “We exist to endear brands to all people. 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. We can only ask for forgiveness and promise to learn and be better,” said Dady.