Stan Richards Exits The Richards Group; Indie Booksellers Battle Amazon: Friday’s First Things First

Plus, authenticity in presidential campaign design

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Headshot of Jess Zafarris

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Stan Richards Departs the Agency He Founded After Fallout Over Calling a Campaign ‘Too Black’

Stan Richards, who founded The Richards Group 44 years ago in Dallas, is leaving the agency in a storm of controversy. Clients continued to part ways with the agency Thursday after Motel 6 ended its longtime relationship over founder Richards calling an ad concept “too Black.” Home Depot quickly followed suit, and now Keurig Dr Pepper, The Salvation Army and grocery store chain H-E-B have done so as well. (We spoke with DEI advocates Lincoln Stephens, Cindy Gallop and Nate Nichols about what the industry can learn from the ongoing situation.)

A continuing shift: Public support for DEI has become a priority for brands in recent months. 

Related: “The advertising industry as a whole is failing—failing to diversify teams in an authentic way.” Marla Gonzalez, co-founder and managing partner of RAXO, comments on the Richards Group  situation in a Voice piece and explains what the implications are for the industry as a whole.

McCann CEO Harris Diamond Is Retiring, Handing Reins to COO Bill Kolb

In a departure entirely lacking in controversy, McCann chairman and CEO Harris Diamond announced he is retiring at the end of this year after nearly a decade at the global agency network. Bill Kolb, who was named chief operating officer at the start of this year, will be stepping into the role.

A sparkling legacy: Under Diamond’s leadership, McCann racked up accolades including Cannes Network of the Year.

In the Age of Authenticity, What Role Does Design Play in Presidential Campaign Branding?

“Authenticity” is the brand buzzword of the day. But for the most important brands of 2020—the presidential candidates’ campaigns—authenticity can be difficult to pin down. Taking a look back at the way design influenced the perceived authenticity and outcomes of the 2008 and 2016 elections, Adweek talked with experts about what a campaign’s visual assets can contribute to the candidates’ platforms, why people rally around them and what that means for the 2020 Biden-Harris ticket, whose branding has been described as “safe.”

When design changes the world: Voters connect with design assets as visualizations of what a candidate stands for. But is authenticity in politics an oxymoron?

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Fighting Back Against Amazon, Indie Bookstores Wage a Cardboard-Wrapped Protest

Independent bookstores are challenging Amazon in a bold new campaign. #BoxedOut, led by the American Booksellers Association and created by DCX Growth Accelerator, trolls the behemoth by taking over the indie shops’ storefronts and wallpapering them with biting anti-Amazon messaging including “Our WiFi is free—please don’t use it to make a $1.6 trillion company even richer” and “Books curated by real people, not a creepy algorithm.”

See more: The extensive campaign spans the country.

More of Today’s Top News & Highlights


@JessZafarris jessica.zafarris@adweek.com Jess Zafarris is an audience engagement editor at Adweek.
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