The Weirdness of The Richards Group; 5 Reasons Quibi Failed: Friday’s First Things First

Plus, ad agency diversity numbers are in

Headshot of Jess Zafarris

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Stan Richards’ Crisis Put a Spotlight on His Polarizing Way of Running an Agency

Long before The Richards Group founder Stan Richards drew national attention and sparked a wave of client exits when he said a Motel 6 campaign concept was “too Black,” he was known for creating a punctuality-obsessed and sometimes gender-divided company culture. That’s what Adweek heard from five former employees and what we found in Glassdoor reviews of the agency. 

The good, the bad and the “weird”: Richards reportedly invited only male employees on fishing or ski trips, which apparently increased their chances of getting promoted.

Why Quibi Failed: 5 Reasons the Short-Form Streamer Sank So Fast

The pandemic definitely didn’t help Quibi out, but its downfall, announced Wednesday only six months after its launch, primarily came as a result of marketing failures and a lack of understanding about its mobile audience. Unlike other streamers that have been more successful, Quibi prioritized the brand and short-form concept itself rather than marketing its actual programming—when content is the primary reason consumers choose streaming platforms. 

And that content had problems: None of its 50 original series were standout hits.

Related: Quibi’s flaws have been a hot topic for discussion since the announcement, and strategist Moshe Isaacian weighs in with its additional failures around community, engagement and social features.

Special Olympics New York Pays Homage to Classic Nike Ads to Show Off Its Athletes, Raise Funds

Nonprofit Special Olympics New York is celebrating its 50th year in a new ad that unsubtly points out the lack of corporate support for athletes with disabilities. The ad pays clear visual homage to iconic sports marketing campaigns from brands like Gatorade, Nike and Budweiser, and invites companies to courageously sponsor Special Olympians at the state and regional level as they would high-profile sports figures.

Watch: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Oregon’s School of Journalism Researched Ad Agency Diversity and the Numbers Are Bleak

New research from the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communications shows the number of non-white employees, women employees and non-white women employees at U.S. advertising agencies. The long and short of it is that the industry has work to do: 

  • Over 60% of agencies are made up of less than 50% women
  • Overall, nearly 75% are composed of less than 25% non-white people
  • And perhaps most notable, Over 90% of agencies are made up of less than 25% nonwhite women.

An opportunity for change: Discover more data and learn how it was collected: 

The Latest News in Job Moves:

  • Calvin Klein hired Linh Peters as global CMO, a position that has been unfilled for nearly a year after Marie Gulin-Merle moved from the position to lead marketing for Google Ads.
  • Atlas Obscura’s board of directors has expanded with the addition of former Marriott global marketing officer Karin Timpone and former HuffPost editor in chief Lydia Polgreen.

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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