Richards Forms Hispanic Unit

The Richards Group has formed a Hispanic marketing affiliate, Grupo Gallegos.

The Los Angeles-based shop becomes the first Richards division located outside of Dallas. A second office is planned for Dallas and future expansion calls for a third location in Miami.

In contrast to previous pronouncements about not expanding beyond the Dallas area, agency president Stan Richards said of the new venture, “It’s critical that we have a presence in these key Hispanic cities.”

Grupo Gallegos’ name partner is John Gallegos, a 34-year-old former vice president and account director at Casanova Pendrill Publicidad in Irvine, Calif. Gallegos most recently spearheaded Hispanic marketing efforts for The Home Depot, also a client of Richards.

Gallegos said Richards had been under increasing pressure to provide Hispanic advertising services. The agency already has a unit, Shift, which targets African Americans.

“Almost every [request for proposal] that I’ve seen out there has some kind of component of dealing with Hispanic marketing,” Gallegos said. “Agencies either have to form some kind of alliance or offer that service themselves.”

“We share the same approach to advertising,” Gallegos said about Richards. “We’re strong believers in good creative and consumer insights and it was just a match.”

In addition to Richards and Gallegos, Scott Crockett, Richards’ principal in charge of The Home Depot business, is a partner in the new Hispanic division.

“We could not have rolled The Home Depot into the Hispanic community as successfully as we did without John,” Crockett said in a statement.

The startup’s initial client roster includes No Nonsense Pantyhose and Richards’ PrimeCo Personal Communications and Eye Care Centers of America. Home Depot remains with Casanova Pendrill.

As an independent affiliate, Grupo Gallegos will be free to pursue business on its own and in tandem with other agencies besides Richards, its principals said.

To begin, Grupo Gallegos has just two other employees—a creative director and a strategic planner—in addition to Gallegos. The agency will have billings of about $3-5 million this year, barring any new business wins.