As the name suggests, Relative is the pride and joy of brothers Simon and Robert Barlow. Born and bred in Bolton, we both have extensive experience within the advertising and marketing industry and are proud to have worked on a many leading brands across a wide range of sectors.
Go Outdoors, Bensons for Beds, Skipton Building Society, 3M, Premier Foods, Hartley Botanic Glasshouses, Gabriel Ash – just a few of the names we’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years.
There’s a saying that goes ‘You can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family’. However, we choose to work together because we believe that along with the rest of the Relative team, we make a real difference for every one of our clients.
We believe in what we say, believe in what we do, and believe that with the right people behind your brand, you can achieve any result. And once you’ve met us, you’ll believe it too.
"Everything is relative except relatives, and they are absolute"
- Alfred Stieglitz
So why do these words sum up our ethos so effectively?
Because, just as Stieglitz’ quote suggests that family is everything, we too believe that it’s those closest to us that matter the most.
As a family run business, we know the value of looking after our own. Colleague or client, we treat all those we work with as part of the clan.
We work together and look out for one another. We understand how important strong relationships are and how such close bonds bring benefits for all. We trust and respect; listen, support and act; share goals and challenges and enjoy success together.
So while everything may be relative, Relative is absolutely the agency for you.
Be part of the
Simon BarlowCreative Director
Simon studied Ba(Hons) Textile/Fashion Design at University of Manchester, starting out in marketing as a designer 26 years ago, when people still used pens – oh the evocative smell of magic markers and cow gum! He is “the oldest member of the team”… by far! But still enjoys Playstation games. A man of habit and routine, when Simon goes into the local coffee shop they just hand him his drink, no need to ask what he wants. A big fan of Prince, the purple one not Harry 🙂 ! And a fan of music in general. As part of the team, Simon oversees the creative work, understand what the clients need and inspires the team.
Robert BarlowManaging Director
Robert started off in admin, working for a marketing agency based in Manchester, before deciding he wanted to go to university and gain his HND followed by a BA Hons Degree in Business Finance with Marketing. Since then Rob has worked his way up through the ranks and now holds the position of The Oracle at the office! But unfortunately, unlike the character out of The Matrix, he doesn’t have all answer for the team (but that doesn’t stop the questions)! Rob never says no to a hot drink (tea or coffee) to help keep his mind stimulated. He spends his time working on the business development of the company, liaising with clients and managing the work flow. And most importantly spends a lot of time working on the personal development of the team… answering questions!
Gail EscottFinancial Controller
Gail is a qualified ACCA and AAT with over 15 years experience in finance. She is a chocolate addict, to the point of raiding office cupboards for supplies if anyone is daft enough to leave theirs unlocked 🙂 As part of the team, she holds the purse strings at Relative and manages the finances.
Joe SwarbrickJunior Graphic Designer
After studying A-level English, Politics and History, Joe realised Humanities wasn’t for him and followed his passion in design. He is a Hip Hop listening Sneakerhead, with a forever growing kick collection ? A typical day for Joe in the office would be designing things for clients, be that digital or for print.
Daniel GregoryWeb Developer
Danny studied Art and Design at MANCAT and later at Bolton Community College. Since then he has moved away from design, finding that he’s much happier programming. He has an unhealthy obsession with Quavers and hummus. At Relative, he spends the majority of his time developing (mainly WordPress) websites for clients.
Csilla BalintDigital Marketing Executive
Csilla studied Ba(Hons) Management with Marketing in the land of Scots, tried the deep-fried Mars bar and developed an interest for all things digital. A travel buff and language geek, she loves dogs but isn’t best friends with instant coffee. As part of the team, she looks after search engine optimisation while keeping an eye on the digital side of marketing, both for clients and our team.
Sham studied Ba(Hons) Textile/Surface Design at the University of Bolton, still working on what she wants to do when she grows up. She is a fashion lover, latte drinker and has a self-proclaimed obsessive cleaning disorder. As part of the team, Sham has a varied role usually being the first point of contact of the team, managing our social media accounts and the admin side, mails, invoicing.
Andy WoodCreative Copywriter
After gaining a BA Hons in Design and Art Direction, Andy was offered a job as a copywriter so switched from pictures to words. His interesting fact is that he has no middle name. At Relative, as well as writing copy and content, he is first and foremost an ideas man – creating concepts for everything from press ads to online videos.
Andrew ScholesDesign & Artwork
Andrew studied at Salford Art College, then 12 years of ad & design agencies. Back to Art College in Reigate Surrey for HND followed by another 15 years in advertising. He has an unhealthy (and expensive) love of making 50 years old scooters go a lot faster than they were meant to. A keen eye for detail, creativity, in-depth understanding of all relevant pre-press applications and years of ‘on the job’ experience.
Mark SpencerPhotography & Video Production
Mark has been on the ‘Client side of the fence’ for many years in various sales and marketing roles with photography and film running in the background as a passion. Once a year, he plays a traditional football game that runs over two days with 8 hours/day game time. Mark offers a “White Label” service for video production (see website) and works as an extended member of the Relative team.