In recent months, decades of advertising experience has departed from The Richards Group building that towers over the eastern edge of Uptown Dallas.
The legendary independent advertising firm has been getting smaller since founder Stan Richards’ racially insensitive comments were made public, causing big-name clients like Motel 6, H-E-B and The Home Depot to sever ties and delivering a substantial blow to the company’s bottom line.
Richards apologized for the comments soon after they were made public and stepped down from his position atop the company, warning that the client exodus would mean that the company would have to shrink.
Around 15% of the staff of 700, or around 100 people, were laid off in November and December.
The controversy spawned headlines like one published by AdAge posing the question: “Can The Richards Group recover from a week of catastrophe?”
Now, the agency is beginning to welcome new talent even as some depart to chart their own paths, according to spokeswoman Meghan McPartland.
“Our financial position is strong,” McPartland told The Dallas Morning News.
The company is hiring once again, giving it “the opportunity to build the agency of the future, one of its core strengths going forward being diversity and inclusion in all its forms,” McPartland said.
Its website shows postings for nine positions, including a chief talent and culture officer.
The agency announced in January that it was partnering with diversity and inclusion consultants Do What Matters to navigate what it’s calling a “refounding” of the company.
Several veterans of the firm have spun off their own agencies in recent months, something The Richards Group said it encourages.
“As always, some people are choosing to leave — partly as a function of COVID and family, partly because of new opportunities in and outside of the industry,” McPartland said.
This week, creative partners Rob Baker and Jimmy Bonner announced the launch of boutique branding agency Baker & Bonner Creative Emporium. Over 17 years, the two creatives were part of some of The Richards Group’s most iconic ad campaigns, including ones for Ram Trucks, The Home Depot and a 2013 Super Bowl commercial.