afaqs! news bureau

Tara Sinha, First Lady of Indian advertising, is no more

Tara Sinha, founder of Tara Sinha Associates, later known as Tara Sinha McCann Erickson (TSME), passed away yesterday afternoon at her Gurugram house. At 88, she died of old age, sources confirm. She was the first Indian lady to set up an advertising agency (Clarion in the mid-50s).

A veteran in the field of advertising, public relations, external affairs, issue management and corporate communication, Sinha quit TSME after 10 years and devoted time to reading and humanitarian work.

A quick look at Tara Sinha's journey, in her own words (sourced from her LinkedIn page):

Completing an Advertising Diploma Course at the City of London in 1954, I joined D J Keymer, Calcutta, the Indian subsidiary of S H Benson (now involved into O & M).In 1955 Benson shut down the Calcutta Branch; all the staff gathered together to form Clarion and I found myself at 23 a Director of an ad agency!

I relocated with my husband to Bombay in 1963 and headed Clarion's Bombay Office. From Bombay, back to Calcutta and then to New Delhi to run ACIL, the Indian off shoot of Clarion.The BIG change was when joinedThe Coca-Cola Export Corporation. These were troublesome times for wholly owned foreign companies; Coke closed and some of us were relocated to the USA.

I was one of the fortunate ones moving to the Corporate Headquarters at Atlanta, Georgia.professionally as well as personally this move resulted in significant developments. Exposure to the world gave me the confidence to face later challenges. And challenges they certainly were!in 1984, I returned to Clarion having been persuaded to do so by both my 'veteran' Clarion colleagues and my friends and associates at McCann Erickson. While I was still with Clarion in the 1950's/60's they had formed a joint venture with Clarion; while this had been dissolved some years later there an associate link remained between the two agencies.The following period turned out to be the most challenging. For reasons best known to them Clarions decided to "Terminate" my employment.

This they did by sending me a legal notice...But sadly for them they forgot to inform either their associate McCann Erickson or their major MNC clients, Nestle and Gillette. This lapse led to the formation of Tara Sinha Associates. TSA succeeded; later became Tara Sinha McCann Erickson or TSME. Two subsidiaries: Admar, a MR agency and Result, a below the line/direct marketing were formed; branches were opened in Baombay, Calcutta, Bang alore, Madras and Kahtmandu. Then after 10 years I left TSME to McCanns and today it is known as ME!

(Photo sourced from Sinha's Facebook profile).