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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
relative family

Simon Barlow

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 Barlow

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 the answers 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 Escott

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.


Rachel Lilley

Rachel LilleyGraphic Designer

Rachel worked for 10 years in marketing and communications for brands such as ASICS and Regatta. When she had her little girl, she took the opportunity to strike out on her own. A synchronised swimmer in her younger days, she is an obsessive snowboarder and loves being in the mountains. As a graphic designer, Rachel brings clients’ visions to life, helping them to get noticed and their businesses to thrive.


Samantha Carroll

Samantha CarrollAccount Manager / Administrator

A Mancunian girl with a Southern twang. Sam studied Project and Event Management in London and has always loved working in creative industries, developing client relationships, seeing projects through from brief to completion, and creating spreadsheets that are colour coded within an inch of their lives! She has two pet cows – Beauty and Patch, and has seen Arctic Monkeys approximately 20 times. In a nutshell, it is her job to make sure the clients are happy and keep them coming back, all whilst making sure the projects are running smoothly and all deadlines are met.

Luke Burnett

Luke BurnettSenior Project Manager

Luke has experience of delivering projects from traditional press and high-volume print campaigns, to SEO & content marketing and website design & development. An avid writer in his spare time, he is currently working on a horror novel. He also has a penchant for fancy dress and karaoke. In his present position he has built up expertise in project management including setting and working to budgets and schedules and working closely with clients, design and digital development teams.

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