Bernard Riley Linkins, 71, a retired executive of Ehrlich-Linkins Associates, a Washington advertising agency, died of cancer Sunday at Georgetown University Hospital.

Mr. Linkins was a native of Silver Spring and a graduate of Montgomery Blair High School. He attended the Corcoran School of Art.

In 1933, he joined the advertising firm of Kal, Ehrlich and Merrick. He later became a partner of the firm and was made its executive vice president in 1955. He was primarily responsible for developing the firm's creative art and layout departments.

In 1968, Mr. Linkins cofounded the advertising firm, Ehrlich-Linkins Associates. After retiring in 1972, he had maintained homes in Bethesda and in Marathon, Fla.

He was a member of the Washington Board of Trade, the Advertising Club of Washington, the Art Director's Club, the Lions Club of Silver Spring, the City Tavern Club, the Izaak Walton League, the Kenwood Golf and Country Club and the Marathon Yacht Club. He was a member of the Church of the Redeemer of Bethesda and St. Columba Episcopal Church in Marathon.

Survivors include his wife, Anne McDonnell Linkins of Bethesda; two children by an earlier marriage which ended in divorce, F. Dahn Linkins of Rockville, and Anne Riley Sheckells of Bethesda, and five grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Memorial Fund at the Church of the Redeemer of Bethesda.