Dallas-based Richards Group is almost certainly the world's biggest single-owner ad agency. Although founder Stan Richards controls 100% of the equity of the full-service shop, it has for many years operated an unconventional open-door policy in which there are no departmental divisions among staff and no one (except the CFO) has a private office. Another rule that breaks with the industry standard is that Richards traditionally declines to defend reviews of client accounts. Clients either choose to stay or choose to go, and the agency prefers not to get involved in competition for the business. Many choose to stay: Motel 6 has been with Richards for 34 years; Home Depot for 26. In 2007 it overtook Doner to become America's largest independent agency by revenues, and maintained that position until 2016 (when it was finally overtaken by Wieden & Kennedy). Advertising Age estimated revenues of $196m for 2018. Despite the widespread consolidation within the industry, the agency says it is definitely not for sale, "not now, not ever". The agency is run by a group of principals, headed by Stan Richards, who turned 87 in 2019. After he departs, ownership will transfer to a non-profit foundation. The agency's profits are already shared out between all employees. From January 2020, Richards will hand over the role of principal to Glenn Dady, a longtime member of the three-man leadership council. Gary Gibson and Mike Malone are the other two council members, with Scot Dykema as de facto CFO. However, none of the staff has a specific title although they do have particular areas of responsibility.
Capsule checked 2nd December 2018
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Historical profile information for Richards Group
Recent stories from Adbrands Update:
Adbrands Daily Update 16th Dec 2019: Stan Richards, now 87, will finally hand over day-to-day control of Richards Group in January 2020. His successor as principal and creative director is Glenn Dady, a longtime member of the agency's leadership council and a "lifer" who joined the agency out of college. However, Richards has no plans to retire. "Now is the time to name my successor, while I'm still active and engaged in the business," said Richards. "Glenn has been by my side for nearly four decades and has played a critical role in making The Richards Group what it is today. He has always been one of the most innovative, imaginative creative leaders of the agency - but maybe most importantly, no one has done more to identify and nurture the talent so critical to the work we do than Glenn."
Adbrands Social Media 8th Aug 2018: We recently featured a picturesque spot here from Land Rover filmed in the Himalayas. Now global rival Jeep sees Land Rover and raises the stakes about 1,000 times with this astonishing new film from US agency The Richards Group and director Mark Toia. Part ad, part travelogue, Toia clearly scoured India for every one of its most visually impressive aspects, and then condensed them into a single film. Obviously this is the director's cut, so he has allowed himself carte blanche on the edit, but who can blame him when he has footage like this to choose from. Sit back and enjoy the ride.
Adbrands Weekly Update 24th Nov 2016: Ads Of The Week: "Praise". Richards Group offers this clearly heartfelt paean to blue collar America for Fiat Chrysler's Ram Trucks brand, not just to mark Thanksgiving, but also recognising the struggles of the ordinary working man and woman, an issue which has once again risen to the top of the agenda in the wake of the election. It's not the first time Richards and Ram have delivered such a powerful celebration of hard work. This is a fitting successor to their similarly poetic Farmer spot from 2013. Fine work indeed. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Jul 2016: Fast food chain Chick-Fil-A - now America's top chicken restaurant ahead of KFC - called time on a 22-year relationship with creative agency The Richards Group. Instead it has appointed McCann New York as its new lead agency, with project-based support from start-up boutique Erich & Kallman, run by Steve Erich (ex-CP&B) and Eric Kallman (ex-Goodby Silverstein).
Adbrands Weekly Update 30th Apr 2015: Ads Of The Week: "Courage Is Already Inside". Chrysler's Ram Trucks division targets female buyers with an excellent new campaign from Richards Group, beautifully photographed and wholly inspirational. Looks like we're beginning to see a real breakthrough this year in the depiction of women consumers by the ad industry with a succession of these mould-breaking, stereotype-defying spots.
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