Advertising Veteran Tara Sinha passes away


Tara Sinha, a doyenne of the Indian advertising industry, passed away at 88. She was ailing for the last six months, reports aid. She was one of the finest people in Indian advertising (AP) and was known as the mother of Indian advertising. She was one of the earliest women in the field to work in India, the US and the UK.


After completing an Advertising Diploma Course at the City of London in the 1950s, she started her career with an advertising company, SH Benson, in London in 1952. She was the co-founder of Clarion Advertising Services Ltd which was later in the 60s and 70s known as Clarion McCann Advertising Services Ltd. She founded the company at the age of 27 yrs. When Clarion tied up with American agency McCann, she had to set up a subsidiary called Advertising Consultants India Ltd as an Ad agency with a foreign partner was not allowed to do government or public sector business.

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Tara worked with Coca Cola in Atlanta and India, and then returned to Clarion where she stayed till 1985. It was at this time, show founded Tara Sinha associates with her partner McCann Erickson and became the first woman to set up a national Advertising agency. Later on, the agency was known as Tara Sinha McCann Erickson and is known to handle big brands like Nescafe at that time. After that, McCann bought or her stake in the company.

“Although I did not work with her as I joined McCann after she left, everyone at the agency followed the high standards she had set,” said advertising veteran Chintamani Rao. “She was a top draw professional, and I could see her legacy at McCann. She was very tough and a very demanding person,” he said.

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Manoj Singh, CFO at McCann said, “Working with her was a fabulous experience. She was very dynamic”. For more than half a century, Sinha remained active in the advertising business and is compared with the legends like Subhash Ghoshal and Subroto Sengupta in the advertising world.

Her peer group remembers her as a woman of impeccable taste and great aesthetics and someone who broke customs of advertising in the 80s by setting up her agency and servicing a client like Nestle.

“Clients looked up to her and marketing managers were in awe,” said advertising veteran Sandeep Goyal. “You have to remember her towering personality in the context of who her contemporaries were. They were all the big shots in advertising such as Mike Khanna, Alyque Padamsee, Arun Nanda, and RK Swamy, among others.”

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Sinha has also served as a chairperson of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication and a member of the advisory council at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi and chairperson of the advertising sub-committee, ASSOCHAM (The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry).

Prasoon Joshi, CEO and CCO, McCann Worldgroup India, and chairman, McCann World group Asia Pacific, inherited the responsibility after the octogenarian and her successor Sorab Mistry paid tribute to her.


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