Criticism When the Competition Loses is Bad for All

Regardless of your personal opinion of The Richards Group (TRG), when a legendary member from within the Dallas agency community loses a long-standing account like Chick-Fil-A, lining up to take pot shots at Mr. Richards does none of us any good. In fact, I’d venture to guess that quite the opposite is true. Adding insult to injury makes us all look bad.

Yes, TRG may be the 800-pound gorilla in town. But that gorilla, it’s clients and iconic campaigns have helped put Dallas on the map as a serious agency town full of world class talent.

Today, as a top agency community, we collectively compete against the best-of-the-best from L.A. to New York, even globally.  Dallas is a recognized hub of advertising creativity, innovation and excellence.

One of the primary reasons for our well-earned reputation is the work of Stan Richards and TRG on national brands including Chick-Fil-A, Fruit of the Loom, The Home Depot and Motel 6. Work that helped define brands, like the iconic Tom Bodett tagline “We’ll leave the light on for you”.

So, instead of cheering the Chick-Fil-A account loss, instead of making the snide remarks, instead of joining the chorus of jeers, perhaps we should take a step back, re-adjust our perspective and commiserate (even if it’s just a little bit) with TRG. After all, haven’t we all experienced the excruciating gut punch that comes along with losing a big account?

It’s not a stretch to say without Stan Richards, with his 40-year-old agency, and multiple agencies spawned under TRG, Dallas may have never risen to the top of the advertising world. And let’s not forget his many talented protégés who have gone on to start successful agencies of their own in and around Dallas.

Perhaps, now is a good time to reflect on the DNA of our agency community. While we compete fiercely among ourselves for business, many of us are good friends outside of work. If you look around at those friends, and your professional network, I’m sure you’ll find current TRG staffers among them. Together we make up a powerhouse agency town. Rather than tear at that framework, let’s continue to do great work and build upon the solid foundation of pioneers like Stan Richards.

Although we may vie individually for brands and accounts, we are one Dallas agency community on the national and international advertising stage.

Here’s to the agency community in Dallas.  We believe a rising tide carries us all higher.

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