Wife: Beverly Saville Gardiner
1941 July 26 SL Telegram: see lower right
GARDINER ADVERTISING WILL SHUT ON MONDAY
By Max B. Knudson, Business Editor
Published: Thursday, March 11, 1993 12:00 a.m. MST
Gardiner Advertising, a 43-year-old Salt Lake advertising, public relations and marketing firm, will close its doors Monday and go out of business.
"It's the end of an era but the beginning of a new one," said Jim Brown, president of the firm founded in 1949 by Harold H. "Hal" Gardiner. Gardiner and his wife, Beverly, ran the firm until their retirement in May 1990.Brown said he was not yet able to disclose all the details of the disposition of the agency's clients, but he said he, the company's board of directors and the management committee are working on a transaction in which certain clients and employees will be transferred to The Evans Group and others to The Orton Group, two Salt Lake-based agencies.
Brown, who has been with Gardiner for 22 years, said he will take a job with The Orton Group where he will work on certain former Gardiner accounts.
"We have not reached everybody and not all of our accounts have made a decision," on the transfer, Brown said.
He said the decision to go out of business came following a series of mergers, acquisitions and account changes by former clients.
Brown said Salt Lake City is a very competitive market for advertising and public relations.
"It's a fragile business. There are 10 or 15 fewer agencies here than a year ago, but there are still 140 agencies in this city, which is ludicrous. There's not enough business now."
He said there were once many locally based financial firms and retailers who have closed or been merged with out-of-state companies who use advertising agencies in their home areas. That trend hurt Gardiner.
The Gardiners still retain stock in their company but apparently those shares will be worthless. Brown said the company has some debts and the transfer of the accounts will "help to clear those debts."
Asked about profits from the transfers, he said there is "no money to be made."
Contacted at his home, Hal Gardiner said he couldn't comment on the demise of the business he founded in 1949 because "we haven't got any real fix on the whole matter."
But he did agree that the business climate has changed since the 1970s when Gardiner Advertising had 20 employees and was ranked "the fifth, sixth or seventh" largest agency in this market.
"When we left, it was a prosperous, going business, but a lot of things have taken place that made it difficult to carry on," said Gardiner.
"We were there for 40 years and it's hard for me to say what they (current management) have been up against. We know it's been adverse."
Gardiner launched the company in a one-room office with a single typewriter. For years, the company operated from offices at 252 S. 200 East. It has been in its current location at 56 W. 400 South for the past 14 years.