Home » Tina Martin, co-founder of Martin-Schaffer Advertising, dies at 77

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Tina Martin, co-founder of Martin-Schaffer Advertising, dies at 77

by | Jul 7, 2024

Tina Martin, right in photo, co-founder of Martin-Schaffer Advertising, has died.  Her death, at 77,  resulted from the side effects of treatments for metastatic breast cancer.

Her obit states that she was born in Lancaster, PA, but left for Washington, D.C., in the late 1960s and found work writing radio commercials at the city’s largest agency. Her talent shone, and she received multiple awards for her writing and her uniquely memorable ad campaigns.

She also appeared in numerous theater productions in and around town, receiving rave reviews for her performances.

Then she became involved with “Sneakers,” a half-hour Saturday morning kids TV show that ran for two years from 1976-77 on WTOP, now WUSA. As one of the puppet directors and a co-writer, collaborating with a small team of like-minded creatives, she contributed to the show’s winning three regional Emmy awards.

In the late 1970s, Tina and a friend conceived, produced and directed “Troupers – A Contemporary Vaudeville Show” that played for several weeks in a theater on Capitol Hill.

All the while, Tina was honing her skills at ad agencies across the area. Tina met Mita Schaffer left in photo, while working together at an agency in Bethesda, MD. They soon realized that they worked and played well together and decided to open Martin-Schaffer Advertising. For over 25 years with Tina as Creative Director, the agency won numerous local and national awards for campaigns large and small – in fields as diverse as biotechnology, banking, and law office support technology, as well as hospitality, government contracting and healthcare recruitment advertising –  and grew to become one of the largest in the area.

In 2011, Tina and Mita closed the firm and retired. Tina was then able to spend more time engaged with the arts, as a theater board member, as an even more frequent audience member at theater, dance and musical performances, in addition to visiting museum exhibitions and becoming a donor to theaters close to her heart.

She is survived by her wife, Mita Schaffer.

More here.

PHOTO: Mita Schaffer and Tina Martin, creative team sponsors for the 2016 production of Evita at Olney Theatre Center, with director Will Davis.

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