by Herman Manson (@marklives) Cape Town-based Bester Burke Slingers is closing its doors at the end of July 2014. Bryan Slingers, chairman of The Bester Burke Slingers Group, has confirmed that the partners in the business will close the company, rather than try and sell it.

besterburke logoAccording to Slingers, the partners — who includes Slingers, Dave Bester (CEO) and Stephen Burke (executive creative director) — have decided that they have had enough of the ad industry.*

“The industry no longer represents what we had signed up for when we joined it,” says Slingers. “We feel we can spend our talents in other, better ways.”

Set for an orderly close

The Bester Burke Slingers Group is set for an orderly close, come the end of July, when its contractual obligations to clients end. The company was formed in January 2007, when Bester Burke Group (established in 1997) and The Bryan Slingers Partnership (tbsp — established 1991) merged.

About 35 employees are affected by the closure. Slingers says the business partners are trying to find positions for affected staff elsewhere in the industry, and those they are unable to assist will be retrenched.

Slingers describes the decision to close Bester Burke Slingers as conscious and deliberate. He says the partners ruled out a sale, as it would be a long and dreary process for which they did not have an appetite.

Clients, including Distell, have been surprised but understanding, he adds.

Long time coming

Slingers says the decision has been a long time coming. Advertising has become commodified and ad agencies are no longer engaging at the top table. “Clients used to come to us for considered advice,” he says, suggesting that this is no longer the case.

According to Slingers, none of the partners has firm plans on where to go after the agency finally closes.

* Update 2014/05/01: Stephen Burke will remain active in the ad industry. According to Burke the views expressed in this article by Slingers are his own and does not necessarily reflect those of Burke.

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