Travelogue — Vol. #2 – Dallas

By OnDownLow 

Ok…so Dallas won out over Miami (although I’ll make it a future edition down the road — I’m nothing if nothing a pandering fool — Chicago will be a future edition too — just to let you know.)

Simple reasoning led me to start with Dallas this week — they have a lot of shit going down there — the readers were quite good at adding points of interest to the discussion as well.

So we’ll run through the usual suspects of agencies:

DDB/Tribal DDB, The Richards Group, Publicis, TLP (Tracy Locke), t:m Advertising, The Integer Group, Dieste Harmel, Rapp Collins, The Loomis Agency, Brierley & Partners, Targetbase, Javelin, imc2, etc.

Now I have probably forgotten a couple that you may consider “critical” to the list — first… sorry about that; second — Jaysus Christ, you guys in “Big D” need to get a real advertising network/club there.

Checking out something called the “Dallas Ad League” — the website is a disgrace and it holds absolutely no relevant info to the Dallas ad scene at all — sure it appears to be a volunteer-driven organization — but they are doing the entire ad community a disservice by half-assing it the way they are.

Although I did learn from their front page that the 2008 AAF District 10 Convention is currently in town — WTF that is of course, I’m really at a loss.

Due to the shitty organization (or lack thereof) for the ad community there, it is a tad difficult to figure out what independents (aside from TRG of course) are worthy of mention. Yahoo Answers had the best list of shops around town — aside from the readers suggestions that is.

It is apparently common practice & quite popular for workers to cycle between the three biggest shops in town — TRG, TLP & TM — and spend a couple of years at each shop before starting the cycle over.

As for breaking into the ad biz in Dallas — there is the Temerlin Advertising Institute at SMU (yes, namesake of the Temerlin Mcclain agency) which was renamed in Liener Temerlin’s name in 2001 for efforts in the Dallas ad community (I’m sure the $6 million his “friends” came up with helped as well.)

Now as for interesting characters (as we’ll try and highlight one person each week who stands out amongst the crowd in the city of choice) there really is only one man who could have the balls to carry this title in Dallas — the man, the legend, the opening speaker of the 2008 AAF District 10 Convention (currently in town!!!) — yes — Stan Richards.

Now doing a bit of research came across this description (it is a tad rich — but as a source of humour — it appears to be limitless):

People call him all sort of things. Pentagram partner Woody Pirtle has called him “the ideal businessman, salesman, teacher, and mentor.” Rex Peteet of Sible/Peteet has called him “my cheerleader, my muse, my conscience, my dad, my friend, my critic, my enemy—all in the same day.” He’s been favorably or unfavorably compared by various Richards Group “alumni”—all now highly successful entrepreneurs in their own design and advertising businesses—to Leonardo da Vinci, Midas, Machiavelli, Hemingway, E.F. Hutton, Michael Jackson and God.

Stan Richards, founder and head of the Dallas-based Richards Group, is the quintessential advertising agency executive. In fact, his agency is the only one that’s been named “agency of the year” four times by Adweek magazine. He’s also the quintessential graphic designer, principal of Richards, Brock, Miller, Mitchell & Associates (RBMM), one of America’s premier design firms, winner of too many major design awards to count. And as head of various entities that create and produce print advertising, television commercials, radio spots, film titles, annual reports, corporate logos, public relations, sales promotion, and marketing communications of all kinds, he is perhaps above all the consummate businessman, named “entrepreneur of the year” by Inc. magazine in 1995. How many entities he runs and how much money they all make is a bit of a mystery. “A bunch” is all Stan will say, admitting that he has 315 employees, $300 million in annual billings, two buildings in the north end of Dallas, and clients from San Francisco to Yarmouth, Maine.”

Now of course, he has the chops to be the biggest swinging dick in town. On top of this, there is the apparent story of the interesting plane trips; odd recruiting practices (ed note: love some of the comments in that article); the pretty damn good column for “Talent Zoo” (at least in theory — not sure if it is practiced.)

Of course, Stan is a tad old these days and has reportedly starting falling asleep during creative meetings — they’ll just have to make sure he doesn’t burn down one of the buildings with leaving lit cigars around.

He is also all about the education of others — he pledged $1.5 million in 2001 to create the Stan Richards Creative Chair in Advertising for the Temerlin institute.

We had a reader write in to talk about one other contender — a creative director around town (names & true identifying marks removed to prevent getting our arses sued — but it was funny. Big props to the emailer.)

“The guy is an HR accident waiting to happen. From harassment to discrimination, he’s got it covered. Plus he signs his emails: The (removed). I don’t care how difficult is to remember or spell your last name, no one has the right to add their own article. He drives a (removed — but think a very “Damn I’m really overcompensating for my apparently tiny cock” Italian sportscar) and sports a wardrobe of matching branded accessories: hats, shirts, even notebooks. Typical to Dallas, he has a bimbo augmented wife and spends his time recounting his “glory days” (removed an agency name) and looking down his nose at anyone who thinks, acts, dresses different than his uptight Republican idealism.”

Ok…so a bit about Dallas was fun this week — I’m sure you’ll all add your own particular flavor to the discussion in the comments section…but first get a real damn ad-focused organization working for you all there.


BOSTON — home of Hill Holliday, Digitas, Arnold Worldwide, Mullen, Isobar and others. Feel free to email me with tips and things to look into — especially an interesting character — I have an idea for one, but want to discover more.