The In Group Gains a Global Connection from The Mars Agency

New Zealand brand activation agency The In Group is poised to achieve new levels of growth after being acquired this month by The Mars Agency, a global leader in commerce marketing.

The acquisition immediately establishes The Mars Agency as one of ANZ’s foremost brand activation partners for brands and retailers by uniting The In Group with XPO Brands, Australia’s leading shopper and retail experience agency. The Mars Agency acquired XPO Brands in spring 2022 to gain their first entry into the ANZ market.

The combined operations also provide the foothold The Mars Agency needs to bring their full complement of commerce marketing capabilities to the region. In just two short years since being acquired, XPO has expanded their offerings in Australia to include retail media, ecommerce, and marketing analytics. The In Group will apply that same successful formula for growth in New Zealand.

“Joining forces with The Mars Agency will give us the support we need to take our market-leading brand activation capabilities to the next level,” said Chris Coffey, Founder and Managing Director of The In Group, who will continue leading the New Zealand operation in her current role. “It will also let us expand our portfolio to provide existing and future clients a greater array of results-driven connected commerce options. I couldn’t be more excited to start this next chapter in our history.”

Coffey launched The In Group 16 years ago after recognising the need for more effective, results-driven product sampling and brand activation in the CPG and healthcare marketplaces, while serving in high-level marketing and management roles at GSK (now Haleon), Microsoft and Grey Healthcare.

Since then, The In Group has established themselves as New Zealand’s leading agency for creating and executing brand experiences that delight consumers and drive results for brands. The list of top clients includes Woolworths, Nestlé, Clorox, and Acton.

The acquisition is part of The Mars Agency’s ongoing international expansion, which began in 2010 with the opening of a London office. This aggressive growth plan is enabling the agency to support their roster of blue-chip clients in a truly global fashion while attracting new clients in each region. Mars now offers full-service capabilities across numerous world markets.

“We’re aligning ourselves with best-in-class organisations around the world to provide marketing excellence wherever our clients need it,” said Rob Rivenburgh, Global CEO of The Mars Agency. “The talent, passion and relentless focus on results that has made The In Group New Zealand’s leading brand activation agency is exactly the foundation we need to bring our full suite of services to the region.” 

“The In Group gives us the first-class ‘boots on the ground’ we’ve sought to enhance our work in New Zealand and better align our client activation across ANZ. We now have the local-market expertise and regional scale to make our client activations even more effective and efficient,” said Sally Tobin, Managing Director of The Mars Agency ANZ. “The In Group will also be a great partner to help us become the region’s one-stop source for all the connected commerce needs of brands and retailers.”

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