On this week’s show, devoted entirely to previewing the 2024 MM+M Agency 100 issue, MM+M’s Larry Dobrow joins Jack O’Brien, Lecia Bushak and Marc Iskowitz to explain the uniqueness of this year’s edition, from the sports-inspired visuals to the top agency trends, stats and more. 

Reminder: the digital package debuts on Tuesday, June 11. 

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Hey, this is Mark. Today’s Tuesday June 4. And mmm staff is taking a collective breather this week after wrapping up our June issue. It’s mmm’s biggest one of the year and the one this stalwart B2B brand is likely best known for the top 100 agency Edition this 170 page Behemoth takes a great deal of work as you can imagine. In fact, if any of you have tried to reach me during these last five weeks or so. You may have noticed that I’ve been a bit tied up with a 100 duties while my colleagues Jack alesh have some of it. I had to keep content flowing as well as contribute to the 100 of which I’m immensely grateful for but want to welcome everybody to this week’s mmm podcast the content for the a100 issue was going live next Tuesday, June 11 at 5 a.m. And the content package will include as usual the top 100 profiles the revenue chart our favorite sports jerseys, which was this year’s theme the overview the agency family tree the feature in upcoming agencies known as ones to watch and this is the podcast where we break it down for you in terms of themes that jumped out and what makes this issue. Unique and who better to take us through that than our special guest this week mmm’s very own Larry. Dobrow AKA The a100 impresario and Jack lechon are going to do our best to ask him all the above. Let’s just begin as we usually do Larry. How you doing? All right, but I really prefer agency 100s are to Empress Aria. You know, I’d like I’d like to go back and edit that out if that’s okay by you know, okay. We’ll talk to Bill about that. I don’t think that always always super fun to do this. Yeah, you know another one down. Alright another one down. Yes another notch in the belt and I will take the first question here and then I’ll kind of give the floor over to Jack and Lesha, but talk about perhaps, you know, how many years have been doing this and that’s a struggle with somebody to depressing but you know how it was a perspective and you know, how you kind of get through it just keep focused and keep moving toward the Finish Line. I mean, honestly, I think you might have worked on it many a couple more years than I have on. You know, I worked on it on a freelance basis before We’re joining the company. I guess what nine years ago or whatever it was and I think you did the you know, I guess generous is the right word, you know, you handed this over to me probably in 2015, which is when we started doing the revenue chart the list used to be top 50 and then I think another Haymarket title decided to do a top 60. So then we tried to do a top 75 and they moved up and you know on the being this journalism arms War. So that’s how we wound up with the agency 100 starting in 2012. And yeah, it’s a it’s a big project, you know, we start thinking about it in November. So, you know, we start rolling out the updated version of the survey in December goes live in January, we start annoying people for responses and early March we make the list and assign out all the stories and mid-march and then it’s all you know walking in tackling as they say until next Tuesday when it goes live in the world and we stopped answering our phones, you know, well you make it sound you know, so cut and dry and neat and that’s because it’s a function of The fact that you’ve been doing it for a while and you’ve got it down to a science but I can say that there were not really any there wasn’t any major drama this year and that’s a testament. That’s your orchestration of the whole Endeavor. So thank you know anyway, right? As far as I know I guess we’ll see in the ensuing day. Right? But I know you know, we there’s you know as you put it in your in your editor’s note people will see it’s all about the numbers. So, you know, I’ll just throw one out there 170 pages is the is the issue, you know page count. So that’ll be landing in office mail rooms and coming weeks and any of the numbers you want to throw out there that kind of impressed you this year. I don’t have impressed is the right word. Um just on the internal side of it the fact that we still have a very healthy print product. This many years down. The road is amazing, you know, it’s Testament to everybody and our commercial side on our marketing side everywhere else back. This is supported so well by the industry is always incredibly appreciated the sort of makes it sound a little more transactional than it is, which it’s not but you know, everybody does Play Ball, you know, we asked questions and people generally answer transparently means certainly there are exceptions to that for the most part people do this thing in the spirits intended, which is to present a snapshot in time of the agency world as of June of whatever year Republican in terms of some of the other numbers. I think I might have misspoke on an early meeting today. We had only 61,000 100 and 144 words this year 300 and 334 images including my own which is probably the least essential. Other things podcasts this some of our sponsored podcasts around this videos around this so much more in terms of the numbers externally. This is the first year that we had not just one not just two but three 600 million germs in Revenue. I think five years ago. We might have had a couple 200 million firms. So this industry is you know, whatever concerns about broader economic headwinds. This industry is booming people. Don’t just want to work with these agencies. They want these agencies steering the ship. So it’s a fascinating time for the world of agencies. Absolutely and you know, just come apparently we always talk about year on year, but it’s always fun to talk about, you know, say four or five years ago back in 2019, the collective a 100 had done about 5.8 billion dollars in revenue and this year. I think it’s like well over 11 billion. So as you put it at the industries thriving so that’s good to hear and I want to bring Jack in because You know, I want to unpack, you know, give my reporters or senior reporters and digital editor chance to squeeze the olive a little bit and talk about you Larry here and then tease out and all those Trends double click on some of these Trends Jack you want to give some questions for Larry there? Absolutely. I’m happy to squeeze Larry any time I can so let me hop in there with one Trend that obviously has stood out to us even prior to the agency 100 which was this whole Advent of generative Ai and people really leaning into all that sort of stuff. I heard a lot about it, you know kind of it’s a wide spectrum. I heard some agencies are like we have our own proprietary internal stuff that we’re using we’re using it for campaigns and clients other people were like, we’re still kind of experimenting in it trying to find a practical purpose from what you saw because you obviously went through and edited all these submissions what really stood out to you on that front is relates to AI. Well, I think there’s a split like you said, there are bunch of companies that have their own bespoke platforms. I think you have to have a certain scale and certain ambition if you want to do something like that. So that’s mostly farms in the, you know hundred million. Dollar range up that said you can answer this question mark Handel. Did you have one conversation that didn’t become an AI conversation, you know people are absolutely fascinated by this. It’s captured the industries imagination. I think there’s a little bit of A little bit of hype you’ll get some people that’ll sort of parrot exactly like, you know, I can’t tell you how many times I heard a drive administrative efficiencies. It’s like, okay, that’s great. I’m glad we’re driving administrative efficiency. Give me an example. Uh, then all of a sudden wait is this on tap tap tap, you know, let’s try to change the topic but there is a degree of sophistication here five or six years ago when everybody started talking about data and analytics it was a little bit of the same thing you had the companies that were the leaders the ones that were founded on data, whether it’s click health or TCS interactive. Then you had the laggards that felt they had to talk about it simply because everybody else was talking about it. That’s kind of where we are right now with AI. I think I’m curious from your perspective too. Like where you see the stickiness of this he brought up kind of the data and analytics stuff and I had a lot of people in conversation saying like if we went back a decade it was like we got to be in on big data and it’s all about having as much data as we can and then that fad kind of turned into. Okay. So what are the real practical aspects? I know I’m not asking you to predict the future but like where you see agency starting to actually use AI. Where’s that next step coming to conversation? We’ve kind of gone through the whole shiny object thing. Is it now seeing like oh campaigns that are made off of AI or you know, some sort of internal stuff where you think it goes from here. I’ll tell you I would have had a different answer to that question before this exercise, you know, we had heard so much and you know, all of us have heard so much about like well Ai and generating content Ai and generating content. I think now now but people who come a little bit familiar with it and frankly seen some cautionary tales. It’s being used mostly as a supplementary tool. I imagine there are some people that are trying to cut Corners with it, but given some of the examples we’ve seen about, you know, images gone, awry, you know people with 18 finger, you know, all the silly stuff like that. I really think that nobody I mean not too many people are saying AI is coming from my job anymore. They’re saying AI if we use it, right we’ll supplement. It’ll make me better at my job. And I think that’s something that agencies should really take to heart. You know, the person you should be hiring right now find a good prompt engineer find somebody who knows how to get the best out of these systems rather than somebody that can do something and like, okay. Well I can you snap my fingers and here’s this magic solution. That’s me is an area where I think most of the industry really hasn’t you know, what went up yet and I think they will because they’re going to have to and you know, it’s good time to graduate with a degree in prompt engineering you. Yeah your points well taken there. I had a couple of agencies. They’re like, oh we’re doing this and they think they’re so you know ahead of the curve on everything in new of other agencies are like, oh, yeah, we’re hiring people specifically for this Duty because we know that they can use it to you know, Advance this technology. It’s like, oh, okay. Those are actually the ones that are kind of the the leader of the pack leche. I want to bring you in here too. Just because obviously you took your your share of profiles in terms of what stood out and you know any questions you got for Larry on that front. Yeah. I’m glad you brought up AI because unsurprisingly endless every agency. I interviewed had some comments about AI that they were building out an AI practice or hiring more people who could do AI or you know, they had some comments about that being part of their future plans. So that was a theme that was very prevalent in my profiles. But another one that really popped up was sort of this idea of agencies settling into this post-pandemic hybrid world, you know, it’s been a few years now since the pandemic what I found was a lot of agencies what bring that up as both a challenge, but also sort of one of the things that they were proud, Of doing at their companies, but everyone had a unique approach to it. So some were going fully remote and just staying fully remote because they believe that it offered flexibility for their employees and that was worth it in their eyes others were trying to go in the opposite direction go and was fully in person and then everyone else kind of fell somewhere in between and had this unique approach Larry. I’m curious, you know, having read all the profiles yourself. If anything stood out to you on that front or if you saw any other Trends on that front know, I mean, it’s it’s a it’s a great thing to bring up. You know AI was first and foremost in every one of these conversations, even though I did get to like the 40-minute Mark of one interview and they’re like, hey, we even talked about AI yet those like, oh you ruined it. You ruined it you would you know, you wouldn’t give me a perfect story. But anyway the second Trend that was talked about was this, you know, what does everyone call was pandemic I mean, Nobody has it figured out yet. You can tell I think it’s a little bit of a generational split companies that have been established for a long time and you know are used to doing it things a certain way. They want to be doing that things that way again, you know, it doesn’t matter if the workforce isn’t necessarily on board with it the companies I think that are handling it the best are the ones that are acknowledging like if we put in hard and fast rule that okay, you know, everybody must be in the office three days a week. They realize they’re gonna lose a lot of good people and this is at a time when you know as much as some agencies have cut back on people. Nobody wants to be losing their a-listers. That’s this is the kind of thing something which is so foundational work life balance. This is the kind of thing where you can lose your best people so there is a degree of flexibility, but I don’t think was baked in maybe two years ago. You don’t mind too many companies being like, well, you know, if you’re not here, you know, that’s that’s it. You know, there are people that were hired and Pittsburgh for an agency that’s based in the farmer, you know, they’re not getting bumped out because they can’t be in the office a couple days a week. So, you know, I mean it’s kind of a non-answer but the ones that have that flexibility in there and realize that you know, there is no perfect solution to this. They’re the ones who are thriving and they’re the ones that are retaining their best people. Yeah. Those are great points. I’ll bring one up here, you know, and it’s one that I think we’re all going to sort of not our heads too. And that is the huge shift in value that’s taken place, you know where the PE backed firms and we did some back of the envelope calculations and we we notice that the PE backed firms they account for about a 5th of the 2100 is about 20 of them and the T100 but they account for fully a third of the a100 revenue. So not only is there been a tremendous shift in the value, you know where the revenue is sitting in these agent in the 2100 but these companies are punching above their weight. So one to ask you. Um, we each did our share, you know of talking to these companies during the 100th Larry when you talked to these firms and election feel free to chime in Was there something that you felt, you know kind of stood out in terms of how they’re drawing so much attention, you know why they’re becoming a viable option to say the holding company agencies, you know is do they have some kind of a Mojo that they’ve got going on there where that’s more entrepreneurial or so, they can form a clients maybe like that model better, you know, then the traditional alternative. You know, what I don’t think even reaches that high. I don’t think clients are distinguishing between firms that are you know, helped by pe versus Network firms versus independent firms. What I think it is is largely question of risk tolerance the way PE generally works, you know, you get in you get the investment first year everybody’s happy second year, you know, there’s a little bit of a kind of thumbs, you know twiddling like all right. When are we going to start seeing the results that we want and then, you know at least in the experience of many other Industries in addition to advertising, you know, it starts to get a little bit hairy in the third or fourth year is because you know private Equity companies don’t want to stick around forever. They want, you know a couple years and then get out maybe four or five years. The agencies that seem to be doing well with this or the ones that needed that little boost in terms of capital to go out and buy and access firm to go out and buy somebody to you know, just to do something that they wouldn’t have been able to do left to their own resources and devices. You know, it’s it’s not easy, you know, I don’t think that demands are any any less if you’re a publicly traded company then one that you know, you’re under written by Equity the thing I find interesting is that a bunch of companies have new leaders they are you know, I mean, you can read the profiles and figure out which ones they are but there are companies that were established. They were founded by a certain person and then after a year or so all the sudden somebody else comes in to be the you know, executive director or the CEO or whatever it is and the founders kind of get pumped to the board of directors. I don’t know if that was an intentional thing. I mean, you know, you get the private Equity money or you sell and you know, it’s a natural step to want to evolve your own role but a lot of instances I got the impression. It wasn’t entirely wanted so that to me is the doesn’t really answer your question, but that’s Me is sort of the interesting aspect of it last year. I’d love to get the three of your responses to the same. Same question. I know what you’ve seen. Yeah, one thing that stood out to me with talking with the PE backed firms. And this was something I saw from a bunch of different agencies. I spoke with specially that group is already looking to 25. They’re looking at the macroeconomic conditions this year and saying like Hey, we’re probably on the rebound. There’s a lot more in terms of Biotech funding more like what we saw in 2021 rather than the past couple years where there was a slump and there was a whole idea of like if we can just get past the election in November. However, it turns out and get on more solid footing next year. That’s when you start to see a lot of the activations a lot more movements stuff. So I think this year is a lot of table setting really for what we’re about to see in 25 atoms into the end of 24, but I agree with you. I think that there’s a lot of just people kind of saying like Hey, we’re getting to that three or four year mark. We need to have our exits plan. We need to be able to look at what happens next and and I would love to hear Lesha what you heard just from agencies too. And Larry. I have a follow-up question after that in terms of consolidation what you’ve seen yeah, you know pretty similar to what you mentioned Jack. I did hear a lot of agencies in general just talk about some of the macroeconomic challenges last year and sort of the general contraction in the Pharma industry. But the one agency that I know had, you know, a group of private Equity firms had purchased it last year in 2023 their revenue actually stayed flat last year. So, you know, they’re not necessarily seeing the fruits of that yet. But you know, I think it’s sort of as you said like a three to four year investment and they’re hoping to you know, come out on the other side of that, you know in a better way so I kind of basically saw something similar to what you all mentioned where if I can bug you about consolidation stuff and I know this is something that is kind of Up to your past week or so but it does seem like there’s been a little bit more activity in the lead up to us publishing is that unusual compared to years past where you surprised with seeing some of these names where it’s like, oh we’re going to be either restructuring or adding on another agency. What was that? Like for you? Yeah. Well the the background Jack is that you know, we had our initial list of 100. I think maybe four or five companies either merged one company actually decided they were going to go out of business. So we wound up expanding the list I think about 104 profiles were in this year. And unfortunately a couple of them were edited before they had to go into the what do they call it the dead content Wasteland that content graveyard. So, um, I mean, it was a challenge. I mean listen, there’s always going to be something like that this year. They’re just happened to be a lot of it. I don’t think there was any Grand Theft plan to you know, let’s do this in May so I’m an M’s list gets turned on its here the notable ones. I think, you know ipg Health. The McCann brand was downsized quite a bit. McCann Health, New Jersey can help New York. You know now we have rise and run area 23 pretty much took over McCann Health New York. So that’s you know, that that makes a lot of sense, you know, there are some cases they’re in the same building or in the same facility anyway and other instances the agency that went out of business. Some of their assets went to one company, but then that company said like well, that’s not really what happened. You know, it’s kind of hard to sort through it all and make sure you’re accurate and you know presented in a way that’s not just complete cobras spin. We’re going to see some more of this Omni comes gonna be rebranding within the next officially we branding within the next couple weeks and I think a couple of venerable Brands will either be changed or no more after that. But since we don’t have the specifics and you know, since the thing has to go out to the printer didn’t get a chance to cover those but you know stay tuned for the breaking news story on that soon. Yeah, it’s so interesting to see kind of the consolidation happening where a lot of people were kg. Even the PE firms were kind of like, you know, we don’t know what’s really going to look like. Everyone was either like it’s gonna stay the status quo, or maybe you’ll see something again towards the end of the year. So it just happens to coincide with probably the more frustrating time period for you in terms of when that all all comes out. Yeah, and listen, it’s all good. You know, the fact that there is this much common solidation is another sign of the vibrancy of the space, you know, when nothing’s happening if it were the same 100 brands year in year out. It wouldn’t be a lot of fun. Right? I think this year probably a record in my time here in Mark, you’re you know, you’ve done this a couple years more than I have but I believe we replace 23 out of last year’s 100 top agencies in top 100. I think usually it’s about 10 12, you know, maybe 15 but this year just due to some of the consolidation and some of the other businesses that became a pretty entirely new list, which is cool. Yeah, I think last July we did have, you know wasn’t quite 23, but we had around, you know, 20 or so new agencies. Either the ones that didn’t make the revenue card or because of consolidation in that kind of thing. I maybe have some recency bias on that response. But you know just to kind of add my two cents to the to the previous discussion about consolidation. You know, the whole thing is, you know, there has been a lot of consolidations and their also probably trying to make themselves easier to access perhaps that’s a response to The PE back companies and maybe feeling a little bit of that. There’s a little bit of a threat there to their business to be honest worries on the PE backed company side, you know these feedback platforms. Now, they need to integrate, you know, they need to show that they’re greater than the sum of their parts so that each have their own challenges and you know, turn I like to turn toward the future a little bit. You know, it’s generally thought that this year is going to be good for the holding company agencies with the Summer Olympics coming up the election, you know, usually provides a bump for advertising 2025. We’ll see again. I know there was their stocks took a hit, you know with the tech companies, you know calling back a bit. So advertising being one of the highest margin costs for clients 2025. We could see another Reckoning but Larry what you know, a lot of times people ask, you know experts, you know, what are three things that’s going to happen in the future. I heard that Jeff Bezos like to phrase the question what are three things that are not going to happen and then the next three to five years or something you want to take the Step at that? Wow, that’s an interesting framing of It the three things that are gonna happen in a lot easier to guess the things are not going to happen. Obviously the PE Rush is going to continue and that’s not going to fall short. I don’t know why it was that it took so long for that particular industry to you know to be lured by the charms of the medical marketing world, but you know that they’re in and the returns that they’re seeing, you know, that’s not ever going to Abate. I think that the emphasis on data and AI is going to It’s going to evolve. I I don’t however think it’s going to be a situation where meaning affects head counts or anything else in years past. You know, we do our Revenue estimates and in most cases, they’re very accurate and they’re very accurate because you know, we ask we confirm we ask questions we go to analysts, um, you know, they’re usually pretty straight and in the instances where people say, they’re not straight, you know, they’ll say like, well, you know, he was doing AI I made things easier. It’s like not didn’t really I don’t think that’s actually the case. I don’t think that’s happened before. I don’t think it’s happening. Now. I think a lot of it is they’re able to Outsource work in a way where you know, you can Outsource it to a company where frankly a country. Excuse me where you don’t have to pay people quite as much and still keep their revenue on the North American books. So I don’t think that AI is going to be this, you know, we can replace 18% of our work staff simply because you know, we have this technology and everybody’s much more efficient. A third one. What would be a third one? I don’t think the print edition of the agency 100 is going to go away. I think the way it presents itself in print and the fact you can see the artwork, you know, and a kind of a little more, you know, it’s a tactical experience, you know, you’re holding on to the issue. It’s heavy. It passes the thumb test. I think the print issues gonna wind up being healthy for some time. Great. Those are awesome. And is there one thing that you kind of did a 180 on, you know last year or during this most recent process that you know sort of a long held belief that you had that you kind of were proven proven wrong on now. I’m one of those people that you know forms of belief at age 20 and just holds on to it nonstop for the rest of my life. Let’s see, what would be a good example of that. I think honestly it might have to do with a high. You know what lesson and I were you know discussing briefly about the hybrid work environment. I think I had it in my head like all right, you know, we’ve you know the door is open on this, you know, it’s never going back it can go back I think is it has to go back in a way where there’s some more flexibility. I really thought and you know, I talked to people at a couple the major holding companies. I think it might have been probable system asked for their people to come back in three days a week first that could be wrong. So I apologize but you know the take was like, oh boy, they’re gonna they’re gonna get hit didn’t get hit, you know, they figure out a way to make it work. I think people are largely, you know, adhering to the Mandate but there are exceptions, you know your kid has Game, you know take off at 3:00. There are there ways to make this work. So I think I’ve turned on that a little bit. Yeah, we all heard probably that that theme, you know and in our own interviews in terms of okay you guys back to back to work with what’s the deal and most of the people I spoke with they’re still they’re either hybrid or they’re not requiring in office at all. And you know, so it’s it’s really amazing to look back and see how much the industry has changed, you know, and in that regard hiring is no longer a you know, Geographic issue a limiter as a once was you know, the pandemic kind of solve the stuff and problem, you know, you used to be all so we asked on the survey that you run over your Larry, you know, what are your biggest challenges Staffing used to be like we call the Emperor of all challenges like 47% of people cited Talent as you know, a major Challenge and now it’s like, you know when the single digits and I think that you know Zoom hybrid employee. Situation speaks to that the reason behind that change. So now it’s you know, you guessed AI right that’s that’s the big challenge that people are grappling with and you know, we’ve covered some some points about that, you know data analytics obviously companies are applying AI of all different shapes and sizes to their traditional whether it’s medcomms tactics or you know, HTTP engagement tactic trying to differentiate through AI, you know, one thing I find interesting is that we’re finding where the limits to AI are in terms of, you know, you don’t want to a generative AI on your website, you know, because it’s going to be a regulatory nightmare, you know, we’ve seen chatbots, you know, so the simple variety, you know, their the non large language model type and so curious to hear if anybody else has any any other questions for Larry whether it’s on AI technology or otherwise, I have a question that doesn’t really have to do with what we covered in terms of content, but more of the I guess you would call the fun part of agency 100 what Jersey stood out to you? You know, we did our voting so I’m a little hesitant to share the results but there was an amazing. I believe it was from an izzio medical they did an amazing rugby Jersey and that that was the one that jumped out at me is my personal favorite again, you know reasonable Minds May disagree, but that was really cool. I was gonna say there were a lot of soccer jerseys not as many football jersey I expected there were some baseball ones loved the NASCAR themed ones. There are a lot of stock car like, you know, we were talking about Jeff Gordon offline, but there were some really good looks there there were a couple pickleball ones people really took the idea of Jersey and I thought we were gonna get just a bunch of basketball baseball and football and they ran with I think there was even some Rodeo ones in there. I think that’s Cowboy Carter inspired, but we truly had a wide spectrum in terms of what people submitted. Yeah. What what’s great, you know, we’ve been doing this call out for about five years. Now we started with album covers we’ve done book covers. He jumped movie posters. We’ve done Concert t-shirts, you know, where Khan I mean again? Why should we? Surprised, you know, this is a very creative industry, but our expectations are a time and time again, exceeded so kudos to everybody who worked on those. Yeah. Another pressure is on for next year right next year and you know, I always find it fun to maybe just one last kind of fun little exploration as a staff, you know, we don’t always get together as well staff and Larry. Thank you for doing this. What would you say is your favorite phrase? You know that you used throughout your the many profiles that you wrote Larry, you know, I know that in the past certainly been known for your your pros and your turn a phrase. I’m trying to think, you know, you reductionist was a term that you know, you used to be one of your favorite phrases. Okay. Thank you. Alright, so it’s always fun just to see that through through the lens, you know for me was the forementioned, you know, I used to you know, the former mentioned, you know, Trend blah blah, but is there any favorite You Know Jack? What what’s your what do you think was your kind of go to phrase this year in your profiles? It wasn’t necessarily. Phrase, but it was one that I had to and Larry helped me kind of kick it as well as its agencies all love to say that they’re independent whether they’re a part of a holding company or whether they’re PE backed or whatever. They’re like, we’re independent and it’s like I think Larry was able to beat that out of me where it’s like everyone says that they’re independent. Everyone is doing their own charting their own course and everything like that and it’s like whether you’re part of a big holding agency or you know, your backlight major PE player or something, like everyone’s gonna claim that they’re independent. That’s not its own sign in that sort of way. So I think that’s something that Larry has been able to chop out of my my repertoire and I’m sure next year. I’ll throw it in there just to see if it’s good by him. Yes paying attention right not to that same end entrepreneurial, you know, like we are entrepreneurial doesn’t matter if we are six people if we are eight thousand people we are entrepreneurial and like all right, and what ways are the opportunity entrepreneurial like, you know, give me your entrepreneurial Bonafide and you know, most of the time it’s like well, you know, like we encourage people they have an idea, you know to put it out there. It’s like, okay that means you know how to listen. You know what give me The entrepreneur aspect of it. So you know that tends to be a tends to be one I make sure we hammer out of there going back to culture for a second too. There’s always the you know, we’re like a family we’re we’re not like the other offices we’re our own culture and like some of them are unique in terms of how they they do things internally and I get them Prosper that but like if I hear that were a family or that we do things so so differently it is, you know, often cite culture as what makes them unique, but if they’re all exciting culture is what makes them unique like, What about your culture? There are only so many rooftop drinks that these companies can have and save it. They’re the only ones doing it, you know. At one age is actually said we know we’re not supposed to use the word culture and so that you know, so I think Larry you’re directive is finally getting through to them. Yeah, I think largely, you know, there is at least I mean, I know this for a fact that at least one of the large holding companies there is a you know here is how to engage with mm for the agency 100 and a lot of it is that, you know, just ignore the, you know cliches, you know shit that you’re going to be saying at a cocktail party or elevator type thing to someone who doesn’t know the industry versus talking to you know, the one in four of us or any of our other reporters or editors or anything else, you know, you gotta, you know, you gotta, you know curb, you know, pull back on the things that you want said about you and you know, say some of the things that you know, maybe would lead or to come up with a new insight about your company. From me like it was the it was the first Trent transformation. You know, like I think Larry beat out of me the the tendency to say this agency underwent the trend permission like like few others for National 2023. All right. Well, I was there one that Larry beat out of you. That much of a task. I mean, I feel like a common one that seemed to be a little too prevalent in my profiles was You know, despite the economic headwinds there was some growth and they managed to achieve like, you know, I tried to make sure that you know, I added in there that they did have a rough year because a lot of them did say, you know, it was a difficult year, but they did achieve growth so I thought that was like a common theme and a lot of mine. So hopefully that didn’t get too repetitive know Ryan, you know, it was you know, 2023 was a pretty hard year overall. But you know a company that says, you know, like well, it was a really hard year and gosh we grew up we grew 305% and revenue like okay couldn’t even that hard. You know, I mean, you know, if you can out like 4% or 6% you know that is more of a narrative that we can swallow exactly what huge gains that you know, somehow managed to just got through like, you know good for you. Okay, we’re not gonna go in the profile and I just have to say that the way you know, like I would file a profile. Well, I think I did a terrific job on this, you know, like everything it’s logical. You know, I have you know, some some smooth and then I’ll see that the finished one. Well Larry actually made it, you know significantly better, you know, just like and I think it’s you know a testament to your editing ability and all so ability to see kind of from a 20000 foot view how everything fits together. So, you know way too much credit there, you know, you know the three of you a couple of our best freelance writers, you know, it’s all there, you know, there’s a tweak here or there, you know, you make it and that’s it because I just want to take people inside the game when I joined M&M a couple years ago was April 4th 2022 was my first day and I think within two weeks I was assigned out my first crop of agency 100 profiles at the time. I was like, oh, yeah, you know balancing this with all the other side I had to do and it’s only now year three of being here that I’m like, oh wow there. He just threw me into the fire. It was just like here’s eight profiles and you don’t know what you don’t know and then when it came around 23, I was like man that was really hard and then this year it’s like wow, it’s still really hard. So You know it the the that the problem is, you know, there are a lot of companies that get to tell their own stories, you know, and one of the other, you know, Publications, you know, not throwing any you know, not saying this is bad. This is good whatever it is, but one of the other agency issues is, you know, you pay and you get to write your own profile and you know doing it this way and you know, there’s always the delicate balance between editorial and Commercial, you know, you want to be accurate you want to be fair and you want to give our audiences what they want which is I don’t know who did work. They want to know who grew who smaller, you know, there was a creative person that won a lot of awards. They want to know where that person is and sometimes that’s information that people don’t really want out there. So that Balancing Act is what makes this tricky, you know, you say Okay 500 Words Story how hard can that be? It can be hard. You know, it’s a lot of stuff to get in. It’s a lot of stuff to keep out. So it’s kind of a joint like, you know, A gatekeeper slash reporter type situation going on and a lot of instances and attention is really what keeps it honest and what I think keeps it so valuable, you know, we should really mention that you know, one of the reasons why we it’s important to do this preview podcast is to stress the point that these are profiles written by professional journalists not based on and they’re based on real interviews. They’re not ridden by the agencies themselves. And so it really is you know, you know objectively written independent journalism, and so we take it seriously and you know, we know that this is something that people rely on to make business decisions, and and so it’s, you know as objectively sound and journalistically produced as we can make it so tribute to the entire staff. So yay us, you know for producing another a 100 and you know, it’ll be out as I mentioned next Tuesday, and we hope that you all enjoy reading it as much as we enjoy putting all together. So let me thank you. Crawl out in for let me get the ecology in our production team led by Kansas men is they are miracle workers right now. They’re preparing our digital presentation of it and It’s such a vast product with so many eyes Todd and teased across their incredible our commercial team. They’ve been on the phone talking to people, you know, creating things coming up in new ideas. They’ve been doing stuff. We’ve gotten plenty of support from our friends at hey Market Business Media. It’s a you know takes a village. Thanks so much for calling out the production team. You know, Lisa Kevin Gordon is now putting together the digital content package and our sales staff Mark and Molly selling those a100s, you know, if you haven’t already been approached by them to do any 100 podcast or heard one. There are an outgrowth of the 100 content packages. Well showing ailing David Lee, you know, somebody else thank you. So the world, you know what people Bill who’s recording this podcast and now just threw his head sad at the screen saying what you had mentioning me, you know, so no, no, no, I don’t need a pat on the back, but I appreciate you and I know you guys appreciate the work I do voice we can cut that. Oh, thank you. Thank you Bill. I know you’ve been one of the busiest guys on the staff, you know between the editorial cap podcast and then the sponsored podcast. So we appreciate it and well, it sounds like this year’s a100 has its own. Unique themes numbers and crazy ology if you will again. We hope everybody enjoys reading as much as we considered a labor of love. Thank you, Jack Lesha and Larry for all you do a lot going on behind the scenes Bill and we’re going to put a bow in this week’s podcast. We’re gonna leave it there. Thanks so much for joining us. We’ll see you next time on the M&M podcast. Take care everybody. That’s it for this week. The mmm podcast is produced by Bill Fitzpatrick Gordon failure lesbian Shack and Jack O’Brien. Our theme music is by cesium sohn rate review and follow every episode wherever you listen to podcasts new episodes out of every week and be sure to check out our website. Mmm online.com for the top news stories and farmer marketing.