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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PAMELA ROMANOWSKY

Newly signed to Rocket Film, who discovered her reel originally on Free The Bid’s database, Pamela Romanowsky‘s work as a director spans branded content, feature film, documentary and television. This wealth across disciplines has yielded a rich and nuanced body of work. From her Refinery29/Dove Chocolate branded short Khethiwe and the Leopard to her latest commercial spot for the NY Marathon, Pamela finds ways to highlight the depth of character in her subjects, whether they’re actors or documentary participants. Pamela’s first feature film The Adderall Diaries (James Franco, Ed Harris, Christian Slater) premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and was acquired [...]

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FREE THE BID TURNS 1

Have you ever seen a one year old who can run? Thank you to all  of you who made this possible by working with us every day. That’s right, our little initiative that could is celebrating its first year in action. What a year it’s been! What started out as a conversation on gender inequality between our founder Alma Har’el and PJ Pereira of Pereira & O’Dell has grown since September 2016 into a massive global movement, with support from pledged agencies, brands, and directors all over the world. “Since committing to Free the Bid in November 2016,” said Glenn [...]

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DEMANE DAVIS

“Everybody loves DeMane,” Ava DuVernay enthuses when asked about director DeMane Davis‘s contributions to her series, Queen Sugar. It’s true – DeMane’s energy is infectious, and her personality instantly warms up the whole room. Signed to Sweet Rickey, DeMane Davis has been working in advertising for years – not just as a director, but also as a freelance copywriter. DeMane’s experience as a writer and director affords her the rare understanding of both sides of the commercial, television and film production process. She observes and listens. This brings enormous depth to her work whether with real people or actors.  Recently, [...]

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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"

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:

Additional financial support
from the following individuals:

Orlando Wood

Peyton Wilson

Roman Mosley

Kelly Mitchell

Malia James

Patricia Santana

Stella Scott

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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