Stan Richards to Be Inducted Into AAF Advertising Hall of Fame – Still “Loves Coming to Work”
Founder of The Richards Group Recognized for Contributions to American Advertising Industry
DALLAS (April 24, 2017) – The Richards Group’s founder, principal and creative director, Stan Richards, will add one of the industry’s highest honors to his more than 60 years of advertising achievements when he is inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s (AAF’s) 68th annual Advertising Hall of Fame class this week.
The Advertising Hall of Fame recognizes the most accomplished and legendary figures in the business and will induct Stan Richards, Robert De Niro, Frank A. Bennack Jr., Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Jerry Della Femina, Irwin Gotlieb, Kay Koplovitz and Carol H. Williams to its 2017 class.
Richards, 84, founded The Richards Group as a freelance practice after graduating from Pratt Institute in New York in the early 1950s. Since then, it has grown from a boutique design shop to the largest independently owned advertising firm in the United States, with more than 740 employees and $1.41 billion in annual billings.
“Having worked with countless advertising agencies and their leaders in my 40-plus years building Charles Schwab, I see in Stan that spark of greatness that few leaders ever match,” said Charles Schwab, founder of Charles Schwab Corporation, in a letter to the AAF.
“Working in the environment Stan Richards has cultivated was stunning. Working on projects with my peers and Stan Richards was inspiring. When I say experiencing this institution has changed my so-far-short-lived life, I am not exaggerating,” said Jamie Lerman, a first-year student at the Pratt Institute, in a letter to the AAF.
Over the course of his career, Richards has received awards in virtually every major creative competition in the world.
- In 1999, Richards received the highest honor available to a creative with his election to the Art Directors Hall of Fame, joining such luminaries as Walt Disney, Norman Rockwell and Andy Warhol.
- Richards was also chosen by the Dallas Society of Visual Communications as “the single individual who, over his career, has made the most significant contribution to the advancement of creative standards in the Southwestern United States.”
- Richards has been featured in The Wall Street Journal’s “Giants of Our Time” series and named an “Entrepreneur of the Year” by magazine.
- The University of Texas honored Richards with its Reddick Award for leadership in communication, preceded by honorees Walter Cronkite, Ted Turner and Bill Moyers. In 2014, The University of Texas renamed its nationally recognized advertising program The Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations.
- In addition, Richards serves, or has served, on many boards: The Salvation Army, Episcopal School of Dallas, YMCA, Cooper Aerobics Enterprises, Dallas Symphony Association, United Way, the Creative Committee of the 4A’s, Pratt Institute Board of Trustees and the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation.
Said Richards of the honor, “As I reflected on this honor, I often asked myself, ‘How did I get here? How did an art director find himself in the Advertising Hall of Fame?’ And the answer is that the largest part of the credit goes to the 741 people I love coming to work with every day. The brightest, most talented, most focused group of people one could ever hope to know.”
Today, Richards remains highly involved in the creative work the agency develops. He leads his agency from a newly built high-rise in Uptown Dallas custom-designed to reflect The Richards Group’s unique culture, which he believes has been key to the growth and success of his firm, dubbed “The Peaceable Kingdom” by Groupers (as employees are known).
Agency disciplines are intermixed throughout each floor, and tenure is vastly more important than titles, of which there are very few. The Richards Group has one of the lowest turnover rates (if not the lowest) of any agency in America, with an average tenure of 17 years for its senior leadership across all disciplines. Practices like signing in before 8:30 a.m. each day encourage discipline and mutual respect and are adhered to by Richards himself – who most days can be found by 7 a.m. in the company’s state-of-the-art 11,000-square-foot gym or at one of the employee-led spin classes.
The 68th annual Advertising Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies & Gala Dinner will be held April 25 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. For more information on the Advertising Hall of Fame, visit aaf.org.
About The Richards Group
The Richards Group, located in Dallas, is the largest independent brand-building shop in the nation. Clients include the brands of Cardinal Health, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, GameStop, The Home Depot, Motel 6, Orkin, Ram Trucks, The Salvation Army, Sub-Zero-Wolf and many others. Total billings for the agency were $1.41 billion in 2016. The Richards Group can be found at richards.com or on Twitter, @RichardsGroup.