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India’s first advertising lady Tara Sinha passes away

A veteran in the field of advertising, public relations, external affairs, issues management and corporate communications, she passed away on Wednesday at 87 years. ‘Ma Sinha’ was the first woman to set up an advertising agency and had over 50 years of work experience in England, India and the USA

The advertising industry’s doyenne Tara Sinha passed away on Wednesday at 87 years. Ma Sinha, as she was popularly called, started her career in the world of advertising in 1950. With over 50 years of experience, she was also the first woman to set up a national advertising agency, Tara Sinha Associates (TSA), in the 1980s. She, reportedly, had Alzheimers/Dementia.

Sinha started her career with D J Keymer, Calcutta, the Indian subsidiary of S H Benson. However, Benson shut its Calcutta branch in 1955. Thereby, all the working staff at Benson’s Calcutta branch gathered to form Clarion. Here, Sinha was appointed as the director. At the age of 23, Sinha was the head of an ad agency. She then relocated to Bombay and went on to head the Bombay Office. She joined Coca Cola and moved to the company’s corporate headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

In 1984, she returned to India to again head Clarion. But 18 months after Sinha was appointed as President and Chief Executive of Clarion Advertising Services, she left and founded Tara Sinha Associates. Later, McCann Erickson joined hands with Tara Sinha Associates and Sinha continued as its head.

At a time when even secondary education for women was a very big deal, Sinha went on to pursue her Senior Cambridge School Certificate — UK and CAM Diploma — Advertising Association/The Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK.

In her time, Ma Sinha served as a key planning member for communications and strategies for several mega brands. Since her advertising days, she has been the Chairperson of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi. She also served as the Member, Advisory Council IIT, Delhi and Chairperson, Advertising Sub-Committee, ASSOCHAM.

‘Ma Sinha’ was a columnist and a speaker on advertising and quality of life communications and wrote two columns, one in a national daily and other in a marketing and advertising journal.

 She not only served as the head of Clarions but also had a number of professional memberships. Her professional memberships include:

Governing Council of India Habitat Centre

• The Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK

• The Delhi Advertising Club, India

• Market Research Society, UK (past)

• The Association of Qualitative Research Practitioners, UK (past)

Industry people showed their grief on social media

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