Together welcomes Penelope Brown as Managing Director, Media

Together is excited to announce the appointment of experienced media leader Penelope Brown to the newly created role of Managing Director, Media.

One of the most respected media practitioners in New Zealand, Brown’s career has spanned leadership roles in multiple agencies across the last 20 years. Most recently she was Managing Director of MBM’s Auckland office during a period of outstanding growth for the Publicis-acquired agency, and she has worked with many of the biggest brands in New Zealand including McDonalds and Air New Zealand.

In the newly-created role, Brown will assume responsibility for managing Together’s award-winning media practice, overseeing client partnership, commercial and team management. She will work alongside Together’s existing leadership across customer, data and cloud technology, with the support of Managing Partners Kris Hadley and Rufus Chuter. The role reflects the agency’s continued focus on market-leading media planning and buying services alongside its growing Google Cloud, Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Data Science practices.

The appointment continues Together’s momentum from 2023, a year in which the agency was named IAB Digital Agency of the Year and Best-in-Show at the IAB Digital Advertising Awards for the second year running, as well as being the highest ranked agency on New Zealand’s Deloitte Fast50 index.

“As anyone who knows her will tell you, Pen is an incredible leader who had the pick of agencies and opportunities, so we’re delighted that she’s chosen Together to write her next chapter. Her experience, media smarts and all-round excellent human-ness make her a great fit for team Together and we can’t wait to see what we’ll achieve together” commented Rufus Chuter, Managing Partner.

“The team at Together are the smartest people in the room. They’re building media solutions for modern marketing and marketers that no other agency in town is offering. A complete end to end customer journey, powered by custom technology and data science, but most importantly with a super talented team to bring it to life.
To join this team to help drive the next phase of growth and continue to unlock more value for clients is an awesome opportunity and aligns with my passions for innovation, strategic leadership and shared success. I’m really excited about our future together.” – said Brown.

Together joins Ad Net Zero

Together is excited to be a founding Supporter of the Ad Net Zero initiative in Aotearoa New Zealand, to contribute to the decarbonisation of the advertising industry.

Launched first in the UK in late 2020, New Zealand will become the fourth region globally to harness the Ad Net Zero framework to help the advertising sector reduce its greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and support the transition to a sustainable economy.

Ad Net Zero is a five-point action plan that supports the transition to net zero emissions for a $3.4b industry. It has already garnered the support of major foundation partners ANZ, BNZ, EECA, Go Media, Google, Kiwi Bank, Meridian, One New Zealand, oOh!media, SCG, Sky and TVNZ and aims to:

1. Reduce emissions from advertising business operations

2. Reduce emissions from advertising production

3. Reduce emissions from media planning and buying

4. Reduce advertising emissions through awards and from events

5. Harness advertising’s power to support behaviour change.

Supporters like Together are required to have created a greenhouse gas emission inventory within the first 12 months of becoming a Supporter and a science-based target in line with the Paris Agreement, as well as an emissions reduction plan by year two.

Additionally, Supporters are invited to participate in working groups that will collaborate on efforts to streamline industry efforts such as agreeing on a consistent measurement approach for ad-related emissions.

To learn more head to

Andy Bell joins Together to lead customer and owned media practice

Together is excited to announce the appointment of experienced customer strategist and agency leader Andy Bell.

Bell, who has more than 20 years’ experience working with some of New Zealand’s biggest brands, will lead Connect, Together’s customer and owned media practice in the new role of Managing Director Together Connect.

Bell joins Together after a successful tenure as Managing Director at Omnicom customer agency TRACK, where he helped a wide range of clients to deliver growth from their customer portfolios. Notably this included working with McDonald’s to establish their data-driven digital CRM capability from scratch and employ this to drive incremental growth, a multi-year journey that saw McDonald’s recognised with a rare Grand Prix and Nexus Supreme double at the NZDM awards.

Together Connect will offer a range of customer, CRM, and marketing technology services to clients, leveraging Together’s award-winning data, technology and content teams. The offering reflects the agency’s belief in integrating paid and owned media programmes to maximise customer connection and business growth. Already a Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Google Premier partner, the agency is well positioned to capitalise on what it sees as increasing convergence between the two disciplines.

The move comes on the heels of an exceptional year for Together, which was named Media Agency of the Year at both the Beacons and Campaign Asia Pacific, as well as IAB Digital Agency of the Year in 2022. Bell’s arrival will help the agency build on that momentum by further evolving its unique approach to modern media planning and activation.

“Andy is a world-class talent and we’re thrilled to have him on board,” said Kris Hadley, Managing Partner at Together. “We’ve always enjoyed challenging legacy thinking, and we believe the separation between paid media and owned media programmes is one area that’s holding back effective marketing. With an increased focus on ROMI and 1st party data use this year, it’s the right time to properly connect these programmes together and unlock even more growth opportunities for our clients.”

“The opportunity to integrate the competencies of a CXM agency with a modern, data-driven media agency is one I couldn’t pass up” says Bell. “The synergies will enable us to unlock growth for our clients and engineer more seamless, valuable experiences for their customers. And while it makes absolute sense – the legacy separation of these agency disciplines is well past its use-by date – Together is the only agency in Aotearoa today where I felt that it could work successfully. Kris and Rufus created Together from day one with this future move in mind. Connect is not a bolt on, it’s integral to Together’s proposition. Our name says it all.”

Get in touch with Andy at

Together welcomes Data Scientist & Engineer

Together have formalised a new data and technology team to further accelerate our focus on business outcome-driven media. The team brings together existing specialists in analytics, engineering and development with data science to enable more advanced business intelligence, attribution and triggered media solutions.

As part of the new team, the agency welcomes experienced data science and analytics lead Dr David Airehrour to the role of Data Scientist. The role will focus on predictive modelling, audience segmentation testing and customised algorithm development to enhance media planning and buying.

Dr Airehrour joins from Unitec where he’s currently the most senior data science and analytics academic at Unitec’s School of Applied Business. Across a 15-year academic and professional career Dr Airehrour has led a range of analytics initiatives from using machine learning to estimate carbon footprints for the tourism industry to churn and next best action modelling for retailers.

Also joining the team to support Dr Airenhrour is Data Engineer Dr Tayaza Fadason. Dr Fadason has worked in data architecture and engineering for over a decade in projects spanning Australia, the USA and New Zealand, building algorithms and data pipelines for complex commercial, health and behaviour change projects.

The team will be headed by Together senior staffer Suraj Barnawal in a new role of General Manager, Data, Technology and Programmable. Barnawal is one of the industry’s most experienced programmatic media leaders. He was recently recognised as the only New Zealand media agency professional in Campaign Asia’s 40 under 40 in 2021. He will continue to lead the agency’s award-winning programmable team as well as overseeing the new data and technology team.

“Our future is in custom solutions that enhance how businesses extract value from media. It means we have to better understand what drives business growth for our clients, then be able to develop custom audiences, contexts and media triggers that deliver this through technology. Our best work already does this, so it’s a natural step to be scaling the approach,” says Barnawal.

The change also sees Data and Analytics Director Torsten Stolt moving to the new role of Business Intelligence Director, reporting into Head of Strategy Bridget Bucknell-Whalley. This alignment follows the introduction of the agency’s new planning process which pairs Strategists with Analysts.

Together’s work in data and technology-driven media has already been recognised locally and regionally at the highest level. Accolades from 2021 include winning Best Use of Data and Best Use of Programmatic in Asia Pacific at the Drum Digital Advertising Awards, as well as Best Use of Data at the 2021 NZ Marketing Awards. Together is again the most shortlisted independent agency at the 2022 Beacons with 13 finalists across categories including Best Use of Data, Best Use of Technology and Media Agency of the Year.

“These changes will help us go even deeper into client business to identify what drives growth, then develop even more creative custom media and technology solutions to capitalise on that,” adds Kris Hadley, Managing Partner.

Together welcomes strategy & planning leaders

Award winning independent media, data and technology agency Together has welcomed two new senior strategy and planning hires to further enhance its data-led strategic offering.

Bridget Bucknell-Whalley joins in the newly created role of Head of Strategy to lead the continued development of Together’s strategic processes and products. A returning kiwi, Bucknell-Whalley joins Together from WPP’s Essence in London where as a Senior Strategy Director she oversaw strategy for the agency’s largest clients including Google, Universal Pictures and L’Oreal. During her time at Essence she was the lead strategist for the launch of YouTube Music across Europe and helped drive significant growth in eCommerce channels for L’Oreal.

Prior to Essence she was a Planning Director at OMD UK, where amongst many achievements she won a GOLD WARC award for Best Use of Data for her team’s work with Disney.

In her role she’ll be responsible for further progressing Together’s strategic offering, processes, and bespoke tool suite including proprietary audience platform Fusion.

“Together was an agency I kept my eye on from abroad – I was very interested in the work Rufus, Kris and the team have done over the past 3 years. Together has a clear agency vision; with expertise in data, best-in-class tools, and a desire to keep learning. I look forward to building out the strategic offering of the agency and delivering excellence for our clients in 2022.” – Bridget Bucknell-Whalley.

Sam Boniface also joins to lead the agency’s client team in the newly created role of Head of Integrated Planning. He joins from PHD in London where he was most recently Global Digital Director for Audi, overseeing digital strategy across 23 markets worldwide and managing key data and technology projects for the global Audi network.

Also a returning kiwi, Boniface has held senior planning and client servicing roles in global media agencies including PHD, GroupM, OMG and FCB.

In his role he’ll be leading Together’s growing client planning and servicing team, helping to drive client-focused media solutions that span media, technology and data.
“I’m really excited to be back in New Zealand and working with the amazing team and clients here at Together. There’s an energy and ambition within the agency to produce great work and I’m looking forward to rolling my sleeves up and continuing that momentum” – Sam Boniface.

Commenting on the appointments, Together Managing Partner Rufus Chuter said, “We’re absolutely delighted to have these two superstars join team Together. They’re two world class strategy and planning leaders so it’s great to have them back in New Zealand and driving the agency’s next chapter.”

Together welcomes Data & Analytics Director

Torsten Stolt - Data & Analytics Director

Together has appointed leading data and analytics practitioner Torsten Stolt to the new role of Data & Analytics Director.

Stolt joins following a successful senior career most recently at PHD where he was Data Director, and prior to that as Analyst for major New Zealand businesses including Spark, Mighty River Power and Orcon. He has wide ranging experience including establishing a single customer view for Skinny, developing net promoter score analytics for Orcon and pioneering one of the first Datorama practices in NZ.

In his new role, Stolt will lead Together’s use of advanced data and analytics techniques to develop value-based audiences for media buying, as well as designing measurement programmes. He will further develop the agency’s custom audience practice, data strategy and management capability, and Together’s Datorama offering.

Kris Hadley, Managing Partner at Together said “With the death of cookies and the growth of custom algorithm-driven media buying, we’re increasingly using advanced analytics to build valuable audiences for clients and identify the business outcomes this generates. We’ve already undertaken multiple market-first local data initiatives this year but Torsten will ensure we’re continuing to lead for our clients.”

Stolt commented “I jumped at the chance to join the Together team. Their vision for where media’s heading, a strategy-first approach and deep understanding of data-driven marketing was clear from our first conversations. It’s awesome to be joining a team with so much momentum and I’m looking forward to continuing that success together.”

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