GPTW 2016 Application


November 2015

Following their notable success in their first year of application, REL has completed their second Great Place to Work submission.  Whilst they will not learn the results of the 2016 Best Workplaces list for some time, REL are incredibly proud of their ranking as the 5th best large work place in 2015 and are hopeful of making the 2016 list.

The application process involves a culture audit to identify what is different, special or unique about an organisation’s people management policies and practices.  In addition, employees complete a Trust Index survey to measure levels of trust and engagement across the business.  Great Place to Work’s Trust Index survey is the most widely used in the world – some 6,000 organisations representing around 11 million employees use it each year.

The UK’s Best Workplaces awards ceremony will take place in April 2016 where those fortunate enough to place on the list will attend an invitation only ceremony where they will learn their ranking.  This is followed by the annual Great Workplaces supplement distributed within The Guardian and Sunday Telegraph.

2015 FM&BE Awards


October 2015

REL are thrilled to announce another award winning year.  The 2015 FM&BE awards on 22nd October saw us scoop a raft of awards commending the work we deliver for our customers as well as being awarded silver in the coveted Agency of the Year category.

REL has an unrivalled track record at the industry awards, having placed Gold or Silver in Agency of the Year every year in the past seven years and again, 2015 saw us win more awards than any other Field Marketing agency.

Stephen Gordon, joint MD says “We are incredibly proud of our FM&BE awards success and are thrilled that our teams are so highly recognised for the huge efforts they contribute to the success of our partners’ brands.  The awards provide quantifiable external validation of the amazing work and independently measured, industry leading levels of return on investment that our teams deliver on behalf of our customers every day.

“Our success, both in the awards and as a business, is very much down to the people centric culture and the levels of engagement we have across our teams.  At REL we have an absolute belief that it is our people who are the key to the success of our and our customers’ businesses.  This belief drives our strategy and is reflected in our vision ‘loved by our people and first choice for customers’.

“It is also a pretty fundamental belief here that the best way to make ourselves ‘first choice for customers’ is by ensuring that we achieve the first part of our vision in that our colleagues are highly engaged.  We put a lot of effort into making sure they feel appreciated, valued and are inspired to deliver outstanding work for our customers!

“The ROI results and awards we are achieving would suggest that our approach is working for our customers.  The GPTW Accreditation, gained in our first attempt in 2015, gives us confidence that our people do indeed love being part of REL.”

Rebecca Ahern, joint MD says “The FM&BE awards are an important annual event for us.  They provide the opportunity to have the work we deliver for our customers externally scrutinised and judged which gives our current customers, potential customers and our teams the confidence we are winning on their behalf and driving continuous improvement.  Our ability to unlock the potential of our people and the valuable thought leadership we bring to our customers are what differentiates our business and enables us innovate and stay ahead of the competition. We are incredibly proud of our unprecedented record of achievement in the AOTY category, where in the last seven years we have dominated proceedings with four gold and three silver awards.  This is a real testament to the incredible hard work that everyone in our business puts in on a daily basis.”

2015 awards:

2 x Gold

Team of the Year – Mondeléz

Client Relationship – Mondeléz


4 x Silver

Outsourced Sales Performance of the Year – Red Bull

Most Effective Instore Marketing – Danone Waters

Brand Ambassador of the Year – Jamie Dalton, Molson Coors

Agency of the Year – REL


1 x Bronze

Client Relationship– Molson Coors



March 2015

A group of employees from across the REL business spent a day at The Bluebells, Sebastian’s Action Trust’s purpose-built facility which offers respite holidays to very sick children and their families.  The team of 7 made use of their gardening skills and planted a total of 91 trees – far exceeding anyone’s expectations for the day!  We are incredibly proud to have been able to help such a worthy cause and hope to be back very soon.

Winnersh Office


September 2015 – After 10 enjoyable and successful years in Bracknell, REL has relocated to Winnersh, Berkshire.  Our new Customer Support Centre is located at 210 Wharfedale Road, Winnersh Triangle, Berkshire, RG41 5TP.  You can contact us on 0118 927 1000.

Along with our Customer Support Centre, our warehouse has also relocated to Winnersh and is now known as the Customer Logistics Centre.  The warehouse is based in the same development at Unit C3 Eskdale Road, Winnersh Triangle, Winnersh, Berkshire, RG41 5TS.  All deliveries for REL should now be sent to this address.

Advantage Smollan


June 2015

Advantage Smollan, the newly-formed joint holding company between Advantage Sales & Marketing, LLC (Advantage) and Smollan Group (Smollan), announced today the acquisition of REL Field Marketing, a leading UK-based field marketing company. REL delivers incremental sales and value for consumer goods manufacturers and retailers through integrated sales and marketing programs including outsourced sales and merchandising, direct customer interaction, customer experience measurement, and retailer training and engagement.

The official announcement of the REL acquisition comes shortly after the announcement of the formation of Advantage Smollan, which will deliver a unified service agency solution throughout Europe and provide manufacturers with the best retail merchandising, technology, and reporting solutions on an international scale.  REL is now fully owned by Advantage Smollan and will continue to operate under the name REL Field Marketing.

“Advantage Smollan carefully assessed a number of companies before selecting REL as the first acquisition partner of our European team,” said Tanya Domier, CEO of Advantage and board member of Advantage Smollan. “We were highly impressed by REL’s insight-based, purchase-driving programs as well as their unrivaled cultural engagement and passion for people. Their success is further evidenced by the company’s numerous raving fan clients and prestigious awards, including the title of Agency of the Year for three consecutive years by The Field Marketing and Brand Experience Awards.”

David Smollan, CEO of Smollan Group and board member of Advantage Smollan, added, “In addition to the strong cultural alignment between REL and Advantage Smollan, we also saw that REL’s unique approach to developing game-changing programs and connectivity with key customers across UK markets will help expand our reach. Their expertise and firm understand of the local marketplace dynamics will allow us to gain a strong foothold as Advantage Smollan launches in the European market.”

Rebecca Ahern, who will continue to lead REL alongside Stephen Gordon out of their headquarters in the UK, commented “We believe that this acquisition to Advantage Smollan will enhance REL’s proposition and service levels to our clients and customers. Being part of Advantage Smollan’s pan-European business gives us the opportunity to leverage best practices across the region and expand our relationships. We have seen a growing desire from our customers to look at fewer suppliers across Europe and this gives us a real opportunity to look to work with them on that journey as well as the potential to attract new customers in the UK through Advantage and Smollan’s relationships.”


About Advantage Smollan

Founded in 2015, Advantage Smollan is a jointly-owned holding company of Advantage Sales & Marketing, LLC (ASM) and Smollan Group that provides unified sales, marketing, and technology solutions for consumer goods manufacturers and retailers across Europe.  Advantage Smollan offers the industry’s best capabilities and technology along with the local knowledge to address the unique dynamics of individual markets.  The company combines ASM’s and Smollan’s best practices and resources with the extensive experience and market leadership of each portfolio company – all aligned in service excellence, thought leadership, and entrepreneurial spirit to deliver better results for clients and customers.  For more information, visit and

Natural Insight


July 2015

Natural Insight, a global leader in enterprise workforce management for retail merchandising and field marketing announced today that REL Field Marketing has deployed Natural Insight to help simplify the management of its 700 person mobile workforce.

Awarded the prestigious title of “Agency of the Year” for three consecutive years by the FM&BE, REL is the United Kingdom’s premier field marketing agency representing the world’s greatest brands in retail locations across the country.

“We don’t make soft drinks, chocolate bars, beer or consumer goods; our product is our amazing people who creatively and authentically represent the brands that manufacture these goods,” said Stephen Gordon, joint Managing Director at REL. “It’s really very simple; we partnered with Natural Insight because their technology platform provides us with a fully integrated solution to maximize our people’s productivity on behalf of our clients.”

“No matter how you slice it, field marketing and retail merchandising are people oriented businesses where great results are driven by great execution,” said Stefan Midford, CEO of Natural Insight.  “REL’s amazing people and their unwavering dedication to client success embody this simple truth and we’re honored to serve as their workforce management partner as they continue to grow their business.”

About Natural Insight

Supporting 65,000 skilled retail professionals in more than 110,000 locations globally, Natural Insight is a leading provider of cloud-based workforce management software for merchandisers, product companies, event marketers and retailers. Natural Insight is privately held and headquartered in Sterling, VA with offices in Toronto and Birmingham, England. Visit for more information.


Find out what we’ve been up to, who’s been talking about us and our thoughts on all things Field Marketing…

rel sport relief


March 2014

The REL team donned their sports gear and took part in all sorts of activities throughout the day to support Sport Relief 2014.  A number of ‘sporting’ challenges from paper plane throwing to mouse scrolling saw REL raise an incredible £600, helping Sport Relief to set a new record-breaking total of £71.8 million.



October 2014

REL’s Fantastic 4 (who competed the challenge as a 3 after injury struck) have raised over £1000 for Oxfam after completing the 12 Hour Emergency Challenge. There was a mix of physical and mental challenges and each of the team stepped up to represent REL and show what we can do, finishing respectable 29th out of 54 teams.  Particularly impressive as they were the only team competing as a 3!



October 2013

We are thrilled to have won 7 awards at the 2013 FM&BE Awards including the prestigious Field Marketing Agency of the Year for the second year running, something which has never been achieved before.  This success is testament to the outstanding results we continue to deliver and reflects the strong partnerships we have developed with our customers.  We would not have been able to achieve this without the dedication of the whole REL team who collectively work to ensure we win for our customers every day.


Awards that we won…

Field Marketing Agency of the Year


Most Effective Tactical Marketing



Team of the Year


Outsourced Sales Performance of the Year


The Debbie Wilkes New Business Award


Product Launch of the Year




October 2014

REL Field Marketing, one of the UK’s largest field marketing agencies and current Agency of the Year, has been trialing a new client feedback solution called RatingsPlus.

The RatingsPlus system provides REL staff with the ability to continuously evaluate their performance by sending out customised feedback requests to clients via email at the end of each campaign. A recipient of a feedback request – typically brand managers, or account directors – can respond via a simple online form, which unlike traditional surveys, have been designed to take 2-3 minutes to finish. The results of which are delivered to an intuitive, real time dashboard, providing comprehensive data reporting tools.

Terry Webb, the CEO of RatingsPlus, says: “The response from REL’s feedback campaign has been great with 20% of recipients that receive requests responding. This represents a significantly higher response rate compared to what a Survey Monkey equivalent would offer. We are also trialing the use of charitable donations to further improve the rate of client responses.”

“REL’s senior management has been extremely diligent in adopting client satisfaction into their account management function and their culture of how decisions are made. REL have remained proactive in responding to participants to highlight which aspects they have or are looking to improve and keeping their clients close at all times. Without doubt, closing the customer loop is the single most important follow-up one could do.”

Clients’ perception of REL’s service in terms of the value for money, account managers’ effectiveness, and the usefulness of campaign reports are just some of the areas being measured by REL’s senior management.

Rebecca Ahern, MD at REL summarises what impact RatingsPlus has made to their business: “RatingsPlus provides us with a powerful tool to understand how our customers rate the experience of working with REL. It enables us to pinpoint which elements of our service are most important to our customers and how we are performing in those areas.  This gives us the ability to continuously improve our delivery and drive incremental value for our customers.  The system’s ease of use for both account teams and customers has resulted in a far higher response rate than we have experienced with other approaches used in the past. As they say, ‘knowledge is power’ and the more feedback we get, the more focussed we can be on improving our product offering to meet our customers’ needs”.

RatingsPlus will officially launch later this year. For more information please visit RatingsPlus or contact them.

2014 FMBE Agency of the year


October 2014

Once again, REL has been awarded the prestigious title of FM&BE Agency of the Year.  The event on the 23rd of October saw REL collect a record number of awards for work across multiple customers and a broad set of categories.  In total, 14 entries were placed.

This is the first time any agency has won the Agency of the Year award for 3 consecutive years.  No other agency has ever been awarded the title in consecutive years and REL has now won Agency of the Year in 4 out of the last 5 years, being placed silver in 2011.

Rebecca Ahern, joint MD says “The FM&BE Awards are an important annual event for us.  They provide the opportunity to have the work we deliver for our customers externally scrutinised and judged which gives our current customers, potential customers and our teams the confidence we are winning on their behalf and driving continuous improvement.  Our ability to unlock the potential of our people and the valuable thought leadership we bring to our customers are what differentiates our business and enables us innovate and stay ahead of the competition. We are incredibly honoured to have been awarded AOTY for a 3rd consecutive year and it is testament to the incredible hard work that everyone in our business puts in on a daily basis.”

Stephen Gordon, joint MD goes on to say “We don’t make soft drinks, chocolate bars, beer or consumer goods; our product is our people.  Employee engagement leads to a mutual commitment from our people to do what is needed to make themselves AND the company successful.  This in turn unlocks the discretionary effort that makes the ‘boat go faster’ for our customers’ businesses and our own.”

2014 awards:

3 x Gold

Operations Team of the Year – Camelot, Tactical

Brand Ambassador of the Year – Chris Bond, Molson Coors

Agency of the Year – REL


4 x Silver

Team of the Year (FMCG) – Mondeléz

Team of the Year (Non-FMCG) – Nikon

Most Effective Tactical Marketing Campaign – Mondeléz

Most Effective Small Scale or Local Campaign – Danone Waters


7 x Bronze

Best Ever Use of a Brand Asset – Red Bull

Team of the Year (FMCG) – Molson Coors

Outsourced Sales Performance of the Year – Nikon

Most Effective Instore Demonstration – Nikon

Field Data Award – Molson Coors

Most Effective Tactical Marketing Campaign – News UK

Field Efficiency Award – News UK

FMBE shortlist


September 14: Message from Stephen Gordon and Rebecca Ahern, Managing Directors, REL Field Marketing:

We are thrilled to announce that REL has had 18 entries shortlisted for the 2014 FMBE awards, with 9 different customers represented across 12 categories.  This demonstrates the strength and quality across the REL business; reinforcing the brilliant team and environment we have at REL.  We are very proud of our people and of the great companies we represent!

We aim to celebrate pretty hard come the 23rd October!


July 14: Message from Laurence Clube, CEO Blueprint Group:

We are excited to announce that Blueprint Group successfully completed the acquisition of Retail Active.  Retail Active is primarily a mystery shopping business and also offers customer satisfaction surveys, auditing and specialist retailer training.

Retail Active is successful business with a strong track record of growth – having the backing of Blueprint Group in terms of resources and know-how will enable growth and achievement of their aspirations.   Retail Active will continue to be managed by Julian Chamberlain and Janet Westwood, founders of the business.

Jealotts Hill, Giving Back


April 2014

As part of REL’s Giving Back programme four members of the  Central Services team headed to Jealotts Hill Community Landshare and spent the day renovating the sensory garden area.  They weeded, planted, sowed and watered all day long creating an area for the local community to relax and enjoy and spend time in.