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 [...]



Second part of 1.4 curator and editor Lyndy Stout’s showcase of recent female directors’ work that she loves… Olya Oleinic  Production Company: Halal Maison The Faux, Chubby Chaiser I like rummaging around Amsterdam-based Halal’s roster because there’re always some hidden gems like this CG film in photographer Olya Oleinic’s portfolio. It’s part of an on-going collaboration with creative studio cum faux fashion house Maison The Faux and is backed by a DJ Tawan track. The Russian-born artist should definitely bring her distinctive eye to more moving image work.  Chiara Grabmayr Production Company: Stink Films Moonjourney Chiara Grabmayr wrote and directed her stunning short [...]



Free The Bid is proud to be partnering with the Ad Council, the leading producer of public service advertisements in the United States for over 75 years. The Ad Council is the non-profit behind well-known and iconic campaigns including Smokey Bear, “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste” and “Love Has No Labels.” The Ad Council works with creative agencies on more than 40 national campaigns, each sponsored by non-profit organizations or federal government agencies. With the Ad Council’s pledge, each of these campaigns will now be guaranteed to consider the work of at least one female director during [...]



Introducing Little Minx director A.V. Rockwell, one of the most recent additions to the Free The Bid family! A.V. Rockwell is an award-winning screenwriter and director from Queens, New York. Acknowledged as a “rising indie filmmaker” by Entertainment Weekly, her work which includes the short film collection Open City Mixtape, has been celebrated for its brutal yet poetically humanized depictions of urban life. The distinctive voice that dominates her work slyly addresses issues of race, family, identity, and systematic oppression. Check out our interview with A.V.  below! What filmmakers have had the biggest influence on your work? It’s really tough [...]


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.”

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.”

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.”


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

“To find great female directors, first, you have to look for them. It’s that simple. #FreeTheBid reminds us all to open our eyes to the less obvious but perhaps even more brilliant choice.”

Mark Waites Founder & Creative Partner Mother

“We’re in!”

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.”

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.”

#FreetheBid is supported by:

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Join some of the world’s greatest ad agencies and #FREETHEBID

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