FREE THE BID is a 501c3 non-profit initiative advocating on behalf of women directors for equal opportunities to bid on commercial jobs in the global advertising industry.

HOW TO FREE THE BID

FREE THE BID is an Initiative guaranteeing women directors an equal opportunity to bid on commercial jobs in the advertising world. Less than 7% of directors are women, and less than 3% of creative directors at ad agencies are women. These numbers are hard to swallow for 50% of the world’s population, especially when the Harvard business review and many publications suggest that women are and the NUMBER 1 consumer group that makes for 85% of product purchase decisions. Problem: A cycle that keeps women from being considered. At the bidding stage, ad agencies typically present the brand with three [...]

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DIAGEO x FREE THE BID – YEAR ONE

Free The Bid-pledged brand Diageo is serious about crafting marketing that reflects the diverse reality that their consumers live within. As Diageo’s CMO Syl Saller puts it, “advertising is telling stories that are backed by billions of dollars to have them heard.” This means that brands can play a crucial role in shifting the kinds of stories that are told onscreen, and the kinds of people hired to tell those stories. Just in time for International Women’s Day (tomorrow, March 8th), Diageo has released “#BalanceforBetter,” a look into the work that the brand has undertaken to ensure that all of [...]

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LINNÉA BERGMAN x VOLKSWAGEN

What do a wind tunnel, an ultra-powerful magnet, and an elaborate light-show in the middle of the forest have in common? Director Linnéa Bergman‘s branded music video for Swedish musician Rein‘s cover of the 1995 euro-dance hit “Electric,” weaves footage of all three elements together – each scenario powered by the Volkswagen e-Golf electric car battery. Making use of quick cuts and powerful abstract visuals, Linnéa’s directorial eye joins these disparate settings seamlessly, bringing to life a coherent vision of raw power. Created with agency Nord DDB, “Electric,” is a triumph of branded collaboration; managing to succeed as both a [...]

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HERE’S THE WORK: FEBRUARY 2019

February 2019: Women Directors WERE At The Oscars! Even though it’s the shortest month of the year, February has been quite an eventful one! The month was kicked off by Super Bowl LIII, where some of our directors had the opportunity to shine (although far fewer than we’d like – more on that later!)  More recently, while the 2019 Oscars failed to adequately acknowledge the work of women directors at large, the Free The Bid team still had reasons to cheer: director Chai Vasarhelyi‘s “Free Solo,” co-directed by Jimmy Chin, was awarded Best Documentary Feature (click here to read our interview with Chai), while director Rayka Zehtabchi won [...]

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ALDONA KWIATKOWSKI x MERCEDES-BENZ, “SHE’S MERCEDES”

For visual artist Leena Al Ghouti, the city of Dubai – her home – is alive with vibrant creative connection. Director Aldona Kwiatkowski, newly added to the Free The Bid database, brings viewers into Leena’s world in “My Chosen Family,” Aldona’s impressionistic short documentary created with agency Neuland + Herzer for the Mercedes-Benz initiative “She’s Mercedes”. Aldona allows us to see Dubai as Leena herself experiences it; a space of possibility and community that retains a reverence to the past. In celebration of the youth culture that’s making its mark on Dubai’s future, Aldona’s film showcases the importance of finding a [...]

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#FreetheBid is supported by:

Marc Pritchard

Chief Brand Officer

"P&G brands are using advertising as a force for good and for growth, and our pledge to Free The Bid is an important step in accelerating the progress toward gender equality. We aspire to see an equal world between women and men with equal representation, equal voices, equal roles, equal pay and equal respect – and Free The Bid is the catalyst to move us all closer to equal representation among directors for the advertising we create."

Karen Kahn

Chief Communications Officer

"#FREETHEBID is more than a pledge, it is part of our operating principle and belief that diversity is a business imperative. We strive to create technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere, and that extends to ensuring that female voices have equal access – at every level – in the creative process. The powerful work architected by #FREETHEBID delivers cultural and societal impact and aligns with our brand promise to constantly keep reinventing."

Anastacia Maggioncalda

Head of Production

"At LinkedIn, we strive to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. Diversity of voice and perspective is critical to creating opportunity and transforming the creative voice as a whole. We are proud to join the #FreeTheBid movement to ensure more female voices are heard and that access to opportunity continues to evolve across the industry."

Lynne Biggar

Global CMO

"Visa is thrilled to take the pledge to #FREETHEBID globally. We want to partner with like-minded agencies who value diversity and inclusion as much as we do and are looking forward to seeing more women at the pitch and behind the camera."

Andrew Robertson

President and CEO, BBDO Worldwide

"We’ve seen firsthand how ‘Free the Bid’ opens up new opportunities for female talent and improves the quality of the work. We’re happy to support it."

Christoph Becker

CEO+CCO Gyro

"This is about supporting some of the most talented directors in the world. Giving them a platform, with #FreetheBid, to shine as they deserve is a logical call to action we believe in 100%, on all fronts."

Fred Raillard & Farid Mokart

Creative CEO, Founders Fred & Farid

"It's great to be "aware" of a problem, but only behaviors drive true change. #FreeTheBid is not a wishful declaration, it's powerful new reflex to hack our change-resistant industry."

We would like to thank the following production companies for their contribution to our website upgrade:

Thanks to the following Editorial Companies for contributing to our site maintenance.

Thanks to the following companies, whose donations helped to make
Free The Bid's database of women colorists into a reality.

Additional financial support from the following individuals:

Aine Clarke, Antiestático, Beth George Schulberg, Caitlin Clarke, Claudia Cifuentes, Dana Offenbach, Emi Lofgren, Emilia Ferreira, Emily Anderson, Kelly Mitchell, Malia James, Mariana Cobra, Orlando Wood, Patricia Santana, Patrick Li, Peyton Wilson, Ramaa Mosley, Sasha Markova, Soilfilms, Sonja Phillips, Stella Scott, Yvonne Bernard

Thanks to Emma Neal for the Free The Bid logo design

Free The Bid is proud to partner with:

Free The Bid would like to thank NeueHouse for providing us
a creative work environment in which to be inspired.

Alma Har'el

Director, Producer and Cinematographer.
Founder of #FREETHEBID

"I’m starting #FreeTheBid so the ad industry can come together and take an affirmative step towards addressing what stops advertisers from working with women directors. I couldn’t have been an independent filmmaker and make the films I love if I didn’t make a living directing commercials. I want to make sure other women filmmakers have the same chance to sustain themselves while being creative and shaping the way women are represented in advertising. We have to start the change right now in the only practical and effective way – Let women be heard."

Spike Jonze

Film director, film producer, screenwriter
and co-president of Viceland

"I find Free the Bid so inspiring. It seems like a no brainer. Of course we should be getting more women filmmakers to bid on jobs! As with all great ideas, its such a simple one and the end result is going to be getting more diverse voices into the conversation and therefore more diverse voices into the work which makes the work better."

Cindy Gallop

Advertising consultant, founder and former chair of the US branch of advertising firm Bartle Bogle Hegarty, and founder of the IfWeRanTheWorld and MakeLoveNotPorn companies.

"I am absolutely thrilled with this initiative and could not support it more.It appalls me how much our industry, clients and brands are missing out on a huge, untapped, completely wasted pool of female directorial talent, not to mention female talent across all stages of production. A huge amount of money (from creating more brand success for our predominantly female-targeting clients) and awards (for truly innovative, disruptive work) are being left on the table. END THAT NOW and pledge #FreeTheBid."

PJ Pereira

CCO & Co-founder
Pereira & O'Dell

"A simple idea that would force the entire ecosystem to consider women directors."

Susan Credle

Global CCO
FCB Global

"We’ve included a female director for consideration in 95% of our production bids. A female director was awarded the job on 30% of the projects. Before the initiative roughly 40% of all bids included a female director, now we are at 95%. Before the initiative roughly 10% of all bids resulted in a female director, now we are at 30%."

Kate Hildebrant

VP/Director of
Content Production
CP+B

"Free the Bid’s work to raise awareness and transparency of the issue has motivated us to help change the stats. For us, it is not about filling a quota by giving opportunity to female directors regardless of talent, it is about the extra push to discover the best female directors in the industry.

Since CP+B pledged to Free The Bid, we have increased the amount of jobs directed by female talent by 400%. Of our jobs that required triple bidding, 20% were awarded to women."

Glenn Cole & John Boiler

CCO + CEO
72andSunny

"We can all agree on the importance of diversity, but it comes down to access and opportunity. Free The Bid fosters both, prioritizing action over talk. It also points to a future where our daughters have the same access and opportunity we had. Hell yes to that."

Maria Smith

Executive Creative Director
M&C Saatchi LA

"It's all too easy to see the disparity in our industry. So championing an initiative like Free the Bid was a no brainer. It's a simple and smart way that we can all affect a sea of change."

#freethebid

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