Motel 6 has severed its ties with its longtime advertising agency. This comes after an executive with the firm claimed that a potential campaign was “too Black” for the motel chain’s audience, reported Fox Business.
Stan Richards, the founder of The Richards Group, reportedly made the remarks during a virtual meeting on October 8th. The meeting was to preview a Motel 6 commercial meant to celebrate Black artists.
Sources from The Richards Group also spoke with Ad Age. They said Richards also stated that the ad would turn off Motel 6’s “significant white supremacist clients.”
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A 34-Year Partnership Ends
Motel 6 representatives were not in attendance during the meeting. However, the motel chain confirmed in a statement that it would be ending its relationship with The Richards Group. Their partnership went on for 34 years.
“We are outraged by the statements made about Motel 6 and our customers by a member of The Richards Group during one of its internal meetings. The comments were not only completely inaccurate,” reads a statement shared by a Motel 6 spokesperson. “They are also in direct opposition of our values and beliefs as an organization,”
The statement added that they are a company “who embraces diversity of all forms and have a zero-tolerance policy for hateful comments of any kind, whether that be within our organization, at third party vendors or at our properties.”
“We will continue to work every day to ensure every one of our guests and employees is treated with the utmost respect.”
Home Depot has also severed its ties with The Richards Group. They said they “do not tolerate discrimination in any form, so we were shocked and saddened when we learned of this incident.”
The ad agency and Stan Richards have since released separate statements.
“To be clear, though, I have never used racial slurs about any ethnic group nor tolerated it from anyone around me. Those words were said innocently, but they were hurtful to members of our staff. I have apologized for that, as I should have,” Richards said in a statement obtained by Ad Age. “Having spent much of my adult life-fighting prejudice, I should have known better,”