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Partner Agency Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners selected “Small Agency of the Decade” by Adweek

When John Butler, Mike Shine and Greg Stern left Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco in 1993 to open their own shop across the bay, they were warned that no one would ever take them seriously in Sausalito. Sixteen years later, Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners is thriving with $30 million in revenue and 150 people on staff. Over the course of the last 10 years, the independent agency has added national players like Mini, Priceline, RadioShack and Greyhound Lines. The shop, an early proponent of integrated services, was ahead of the curve in ramping up its digital capabilities, acquiring SF Interactive in 2003. It was also one of the first agencies to embrace user-generated content when it invited the Converse fan community to create advertising for the brand. Its strategic arm Influx, run by Ed Cotton, has been sharing trends online since the director of strategy began writing a blog in 2004. The partners added full-service design capabilities when they acquired Zimmermann Design in 2006. All these moves have helped the agency remain a creative shop to watch and an enviable national competitor to beat. What was that about Sausalito? —Eleftheria Parpis

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