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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JESSY MOUSSALLEM

Eloquent, elegant, emotional, and edgy, this music video by new director Jessy Moussallem is a powerful ode to the rise of the spirit of Arab women. Watch it and your heart will soar. 1.4 editor / curator Lyndy Stout talks with the just-signed to Caviar director (whose Free The Bid profile is coming soon!) about life and work in the Lebanon, and the importance of long conversations til sunrise anywhere.   Please briefly describe your childhood. I was born in 1990 in Beirut. I grew up with three older brothers. My mom used to dress me always in mini skirts and [...]

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BBDO STATS

“BBDO is committed to promoting and pursuing gender equality within the advertising industry.  That is why we did not hesitate to become one of the charter agencies pledging their support for the Free the Bid initiative.  Since making this pledge last September, the number of female directors invited to participate in our bidding process has increased 400% and the actual number of female directors hired has doubled. Among these jobs have included commercial productions for HP, GE, Lowe’s, CVS and Mars.” Spokesperson, BBDO NY

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HOLLY BLAKEY

It feels like a dream – dancers lope around corridors of a gorgeous modernist house, each using their bodies to explore the limits of the space. At times, they collide, limbs melting into one another, but there’s a deep sense of solitude that pervades. Holly Blakey, director and choreographer, frames an immersive world around the dancers in “Cherry Hill” her latest piece for NOWNESS, created in association with Christie’s Auction House. “Camille’s feet explore each fraction of the house like she’s never seen any of it before,” Holly explains to NOWNESS. “She imagines friends, lovers, and characters to bathe her [...]

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#FreetheBid is supported by:

Antonio Lucio

Global CMO

"HP takes the pledge to #FREETHEBID globally. We believe the creative process of our ad agencies will be strenghtened and we're excited to implement this pledge globally and give women a voice in advertising to the benefit of everyone, everywhere. We hope to inspire more brands to join us in this pledge and #FREETHEBID"

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."

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:

Additional financial support
from the following individuals:

Orlando Wood

Peyton Wilson

Ramaa Mosley

Kelly Mitchell

Malia James

Patricia Santana

Stella Scott

Emily Anderson

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."

Sumer Friedrichs

SVP Director of Integrated Production, GTB US

"Free the Bid goes deeper than giving a voice to the female directors. It's a front to giving women a voice in the industry as a whole. As a production lead and female, I feel in a position to be heard, respected and recognized as a creative partner to my fellow comrades. The aim to integrate talented women into our bidding/project process has been highly received by everyone."

#freethebid

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