Since Free The Bid’s launch in late 2016, some of the world’s TOP AGENCIES have joined us. FCB, gyro, Digitas and McCann have not only taken the pledge, but have provided the case studies below, showing how Free The Bid can be utilized to get AMAZING directors hired for AMAZING opportunities!

Read how taking the Free The Bid pledge has impacted these agencies, in their own words!


“The “FreeTheBid” movement has prompted a conversation at FCB about looking beyond familiar and convenient creative choices. It is an amazing, yet simple initiative that is resonating across the board for FCB Chicago creatives, producers, our clients and production company partners. We absolutely love that the “FreeTheBid” initiative is starting conversations beyond the important work of opening ourselves to female film directors, but also about opening our minds to artists that aren’t packaged in a traditional way.”

Kerry Hill, EVP, Management Director of Production, Lord + Thomas / FCB Chicago

Since we’ve pledged to participate in “FreeTheBid”, we have a 90% success rate of including female directors in the triple bid process.

For Liquid Plumr’s “Take the Drama Out of Clogs” campaign, we were thrilled to put Free The Bid into practice and secured our first female director, Melissa Bolton-Klinger. Her background in comedic promo and character work worked well in producing a campaign with multiple film genres.


gyro, as part of the Dentsu network, is thrilled to participate in the Free The Bid pledge to bid at lease one female director on every triple bid project.

Even prior to their pledge, gyro has always had a strong commitment to hiring female directors. The idea of joining in with Free The Bid on their mission was a no-brainer for us.

Most recently, we worked with Michelle Craig from Unit 9 on a spot we created for the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation. Michelle, as a director and especially as a female director, was uniquely qualified to helm this highly charged spot. It was extremely important that the spot be simple in its execution but communicate the emotional complexity of not only the characters but of the issue itself.

“To be considered and in the mix you absolutely need the talent to bring the idea to life and Michelle possesses this talent at the highest level. I found her point of view to be especially vital for this spot as it needed a particular sensitivity that only she could bring. Bottom line: The more diversity in perspectives, the better for creativity and the final product.”

Vito Zarrillo, ECD, gyro

“Women need more seats at the table–as directors and leaders across every stage of production. The proof is in the quality and caliber of work by directors like Mai Iskander with C41 Media. We’ve awarded her two consecutive major campaigns for Whirlpool: Perceptions of Care, and most recently, Care Counts. Mai’s passion for the subject during the bidding process, as well as her superior directing, filmmaking, and storytelling skills made our decision to work with her a no-brainer. Her ability to connect with the people interviewed for Care Counts and capture authentic, compelling, and moving portrayals of them was no small feat for any director, male or female.

But hiring female directors like Mai is nothing new for us: it’s what we do, and have been doing, for quite some time. In the last ten months alone DigitasLBi has awarded half a dozen important projects to female directors, not because of their gender, but because of their immense talent. What we didn’t do was exclude them. Some of the directors we worked with for clients like Goodyear, Dunkin Donuts, eBay and GM/Buick, include Jenna Schoenfeld, Adolescent, Lena Beug, Station Films, and Ramaa Mosely, Splendid & Co.

Free the Bid addresses a prevalent problem in our industry, which typically excludes women from invitations to bid on projects. It’s helping to bring about necessary change for everyone when selecting bidders. We’re thrilled to support it—it’s just one more way that DigitasLBi can express—in words, behavior, and dollars—our commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.”

Ronald Ng, Chief Creative Officer, DigitasLBi


We are proud that McCann is part of the Free the Bid initiative. We strongly believe in cultivating diverse talent and we know that one of the best ways to do that is supply and demand. If we demand more women (and people of color) directors, then our industry will have to figure out how to supply it. This isn’t just a diversity play, it’s a creative one. Having more people with differing points of view makes for more compelling storytelling.
Speaking of compelling storytelling, we were thrilled to work with JJ Adler on our latest Microsoft project. She rocked it but we didn’t pick her because of her gender. Truth is when we first spoke with JJ, we had no idea she was a she. We just assumed she was a guy because she had a lot of humor on her reel – what’s that say about us??? Besides making us feel like terrible feminists, it made us realize that Free the bid is important not just to put pressure on production companies, but also to challenge our own creative biases as well.
Susan Young & Daniela Vojta, ECDs McCann/ M:United