Organisation that calls for more female directors opens in Australia

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 10 November 2017

The American Free The Bid campaign has launched in Australia to advocate on behalf of female directors for equal opportunities.

The initiative began last September in the US as a means to give women directors more of a crack at ad work. It asked agencies to commit to including a woman director on every triple-bid project, production companies to sign more female directors and marketers to seek one female bid on each of their commercial productions.

Alma Har'el, who has helmed spots for Airbnb and Stella Artois, is behind the new program.

It encourages gender parity in the advertising industry with a recent Agency Circle survey finding only 29% of creative and design roles were female, compared to 71% male.

Since its launched, Free the Bid has made dramatic changes in the ad industry’s hiring of female directors, contributing to an increase in hires and bidding of female directors of as much as 400%, in the cases of American ages CP+B and BBDO.

With support from leading Australian production companies including Photoplay, The Sweet Shop, Eight, Curious, Jungle, Taxi, Otto, In The Thicket, Airbag, Tazer, Guilty, The Producers, Fiction and Truce, the first stage has seen founder Jasmin Tarasin launch the Australian based website.

The second stage of the initiative will see the creation of a searchable database showcasing the work of 100-plus female directors, signed to a production company or working independently, to give producers easy access to female directors. This stage is being crowd funded by Tarasin with the aim to launch by the end of the year.

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