Letters From Stan

Wanted: Clients With Courage

Stan Richards

Dear Judy, Courage. It’s not something you see in excess in marketing these days. There’s a lot of talk about ROI and KPIs and ROAS, and while I completely understand and champion the need for accountability, none of those letters spell “courage.” Nor do they fuel it. We’re fortunate to have clients who exhibit courage  Continue Reading...

How Do We Stack Up?

Stan Richards

Dear Kerry, The 4A’s recently released survey results, titled “Ending the Agency Talent Rotisserie,” that were targeted at addressing why people stay at or leave their agencies. As part of that survey, they offered five ways to make your people happy. I thought I’d test our own place against those five suggestions. 1. Less Fortune  Continue Reading...

The Four Questions

Stan Richards

You’ve heard me talk about our tenure here at the agency-in terms of both clients and the people who work here. The duration of our client relationships is often more visible to you, because we cite it in case studies or cover letters or simply in answer to a question in an RFP.  Continue Reading...

This Is How We Measure a Year

Stan Richards

Dear Ken, I know this is a business of cycles. There are up years. There are down years. And I know the likely classification of 2009 will be the latter. But don’t count us in the group that’s happy to see 2009 come to an end. It’s a year that started with a fresh relationship  Continue Reading...

Does It Have Legs?

Stan Richards

Dear Meghan, Does it have legs? It was always an odd question to me. But you could count on it being asked every time you had a major creative presentation with a client or a prospective client. Does it have legs? The only way to answer the question at the time was either to do  Continue Reading...

One Very Important Unwritten Rule

Stan Richards

Dear Jane, I enjoy reading Adweek. Seriously. It’s a pretty quick way to get the current headlines, and from time to time there’s a guest columnist whose point of view I truly appreciate. And while I could challenge their opinions of agency performance in their annual report card issue, I won’t. (By the way, it’s  Continue Reading...

Does a Title Ever Make the Work Better?

Stan Richards

Dear Hasan, As if remaining independent in an environment of continuing mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs, and demises weren’t contrarian enough, we’ve found another way to blaze our own trail. Just about a year ago, we got rid of our account executives. Eliminated our account supervisors. Unceremoniously dumped our account directors. And we can honestly say that  Continue Reading...

The Defense for Not Defending

Stan Richards

Dear Ann, “The Richards Group will not participate in the review.” “Incumbent Richards Group will not defend.” “The current agency, The Richards Group, declined to participate.” You’ve seen those words in the press, you’ve seen them in a similar form in our RFP responses, you may have heard them directly from me. No matter what  Continue Reading...

Our Family Tree

Stan Richards

Dear Joanne, With all the mergers, acquisitions, and spin-offs, I suppose it was inevitable that we’d need some sort of a road map to keep them all straight. Advertising Age recently took on the task in their “Agency Family Trees” of detailing who married whom, who begat whom, and all the resulting first and second  Continue Reading...

The Benefits of Being Fiercely Independent

Stan Richards

Dear Leslie, Three recent events prompt this letter: (1) the Hyundai agency review, won by The Richards Group; (2) the Mondavi Woodbridge review, also won by The Richards Group; and (3) the speech by John Dooner of Interpublic in which he noted that the four largest ad agency holding companies control 82 percent of U.S.  Continue Reading...