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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MALIA JAMES x TOVE LO – BLUE LIPS

On Wednesday, October 17th, director Malia James screened her new 25-minute film “Blue Lips,” made in collaboration with musician Tove Lo, at the Vista Theater in Los Angeles. The duo took a different approach to creating a film as a showcase for the music from Tove’s latest album – instead of a visual album, comprised of discrete music videos, Malia and Tove opted to create a narrative film that incorporated Tove’s music seamlessly into the fabric of the world of the characters on-screen. After the screening, Free The Bid’s Executive Director Emma Reeves was on hand to moderate a Q+A [...]

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LINA SÖDERSTRÖM x VOLVO

Some advertising tropes die hard: women directors, regardless of their talent and creative prowess, are still rarely give the chance to tackle automotive and sports projects. B-Reel Films Scandinavia director Lina Söderström‘s latest work for Volvo‘s Number 10 scholarship fund, created with agency Animal, brilliantly tackles both fields in a single spot. Bolstered by gorgeous camerawork and true-to-life portrayals of athletes, Lina’s vision creates a truly cinematic piece of short-form storytelling. With this in mind, how much incredible work are we missing out on when women directors are only given a limited selection of genres to explore in advertising? We [...]

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FFFEST – ADVENTURES IN MUSIC VIDEO PANEL

On Friday October 12th, Free The Bid founder Alma Har’el joined director Jenn Nkiru and producer Sharon Oreck on a panel moderated by Tabitha Denholm, director and founder of Women Under The Influence, as a part of the Female Filmmakers Festival (FFFest) in Los Angeles. FFFEST is a 3-day screening and talk series, created by Passerbuys and Women & Film, celebrating the accomplishments of women directors and empowering women who want to break into the industry. The program of events ran from October 12-14th. As stated on the FFFEST website: “Our mission is simple – we want more women to [...]

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LAUREN CARIS COHAN x UBER

How much is our day-to-day decision-making influenced by unconscious bias, even beyond our own beliefs? Director Lauren Caris Cohan‘s latest work with Stink Films for Uber explores the cultural conditioning that discourages women to imagine themselves in positions of power. In a social experiment set-up, a group of female entrepreneurs were told to meet with the CEO of a company, whose office was behind a glass door. The catch? Two identical offices, each with glass doors – one belonging to a female employee, and the other, a man. It was left up to the participants in the project to make [...]

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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."

Carla Hassan

CMO

"TOYS"R"US is thrilled to take the pledge to #FREETHEBID. We believe having more women behind the camera is better for creativity and business. We are excited to work with our agency partners and look forward to seeing other companies join us to ensure our industry benefits from this critical initiative."

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

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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