The Richards Group keeps bleeding clients, and dueling town halls tonight: Thursday Wake-Up Call
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Repercussions from a racist comment by founder Stan Richards continue to hit Dallas-based agency The Richards Group. Cracker Barrel dropped the shop from its agency review, and Keurig Dr Pepper cut ties, following in the footsteps of longtime agency clients Motel 6 and Home Depot earlier this week.
“University of Texas—whose advertising and PR school carries Stan Richards' name—is holding discussions with staff, students and faculty about how to respond,” writes Ad Age’s Judann Pollack. Pest control brand Orkin said it too was “currently evaluating our relationship” with the agency.
For now, The Richards Group still works with companies like Hobby Lobby and Fiat Chrysler’s Ram brand, and earlier today the agency's website listed clients including Advance Auto Parts, Charles Schwab and Shiner Beer, though that page has since been removed.
The presidential debate originally scheduled for tonight was canceled after President Trump refused to agree to a virtual event after his coronavirus diagnosis, but Trump and Biden will instead be hosting competing town hall events, both at 8:00 p.m. EDT. Trump—ever the ratings hound—will surely be as eager as the pundit class to see which candidate draws more viewers.
ABC was the first to announce its town hall with Biden, so NBC is being criticized for planning the Trump event for the same time slot, setting up the kind of head-to-head confrontation the president prizes—without the need for him to actually debate an opponent on the issues. The decision also means voters will not be able to watch both candidates live. The hashtag #BoycottNBC began trending.
Meanwhile, a new Biden campaign ad features Bridgett Floyd, the sister of George Floyd, whose death at the hands of Minnesota police sparked a summer of protest and reflection. “Biden is the change that we need,” she says. The ad debuted on Wednesday, on what would have been Floyd’s 47th birthday.
Tiffany R. Warren, founder of Adcolor and group senior VP and chief diversity officer at Omnicom Group, is leaving the agency to join Sony Music Group as executive VP and chief diversity and inclusion officer, a new role at the company.
“Sony said Warren will work across the company's global recorded music, publishing and corporate divisions to expand its ongoing equity and inclusion efforts and policies,” writes Ad Age’s Lindsay Rittenhouse. “She will directly report to Sony Music Group Chairman Rob Stringer.”
Warren joined Omnicom in 2009 and founded Adcolor 15 years ago. In that time it has grown into an annual conference, awards show and mentorship program. In September, the organization established a creative council with Snapchat, featuring 12 Black creative industry leaders.
Panera Bread, which became one of the first national chains to list calorie info on its menus a decade ago, will now also mark items that have a smaller carbon footprint. “At Panera, 55% of entrees can be labeled ‘cool food meals,’ meaning they are more climate-friendly,” writes Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl. “Dishes that get a passing grade include the Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt, Fuji Apple Chicken Salad, and soups such as Bistro French Onion (the one promoted by Phyllis from “The Office”) and Broccoli Cheddar.”
The company had its supply chain analyzed by World Resources Institute to identify the foods with the lowest impact, and Panera is drawing attention to the fact that 25% of greenhouse gases are created by food production.
Breach and clear: Mindshare fired Global CEO Nick Emery on Wednesday, following an unspecified but "clear breach of the company’s code of conduct" that happened last week. GroupM Global CEO Christian Juhl steps in as interim CEO until a replacement is found.
Spooky spice: Dunkin’ is all in on its first spicy donut, a ghost pepper flavored confection made with some of the hottest chili peppers in the world, reports CNET. It's cut with cayenne and encased in strawberry icing, so true internal arsonists should be able to down a baker’s dozen before reaching for the milk.
Screen share: Live sports are often the only reason fans haven't cut the cord (from cable TV). But, according to the Wall Street Journal, the National Football League has now agreed to let Amazon stream a single playoff game in addition to the 11 Thursday night regular season games currently shown on Amazon Prime each year.
That does it for today’s Wake-Up Call. Thanks for reading and we hope you are all staying safe and well. For more industry news and insight, follow us on Twitter: @adage.
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