Richards Group is struggling to repair its tattered reputation–and retain its client roster–following racist remarks made by 88-year-old founder Stan Richards. Two long-time clients left the agency this week after word of the remarks spread through the industry.
Richards said during a recent agency meeting discussing a possible ad for client Motel 6 that the idea was “too Black” for the motel chain’s “white supremacist constituents.” The remarks were first reported by Adage.com late Tuesday.
Upon hearing the story from the agency, Motel 6 yesterday fired the shop after a 34-year working relationship.
Richards client Home Depot then followed suit, jettisoning the agency today after a 25-year run, saying the home improvement chain does not “tolerate discrimination in any form, so we were shocked and saddened when we learned of this incident,” said a Home Depot spokesperson in a statement. “We have immediately begun the process of finding a new advertising agency.”