Blog Post

How Gender Diverse Commercial Directors Will Lead To Overall Industry Inclusion

by Sally Lyons


Posted on Decemeber 3rd, 2018



Righting the ad industry’s gender diversity problem with Free the Bid, Right the Ratio and online portal Modern Producer.

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Gender Diversity Initiatives In Advertising You Should Know About

Advertising is making strides towards becoming a more gender diverse industry thanks to campaigns such as Free the Bid and Right the Ratio. Both campaigns have shed light on this age-old problem and are essential in raising awareness on the ad industry’s lack of gender diversity.

Free the Bid was founded in September of 2016 with a specific call to action that forces ad agencies to look beyond the typical male A-Listers during the bidding process. Free the Bid asks agencies and producers to pledge to include one female director in every triple-bid project. This means that for every two male directors bid for a spot or film, at least one is female. This seems like a modest request, considering that women make up more than half the world’s population and are the number one consumer group making 85% of product purchase decisions.

Since the campaign’s beginnings in 2016, Free the Bid has garnered 50+ pledges from top global advertising agencies and is responsible for a 400% increase in jobs directed by women as reported by pledged agencies BBDO and CP + B.

Right the Ratio was created in August of 2017 by social network and creative hub Pinterest. The campaign was sparked by a recent study from the 3 Percent Movement that found that while women make up 46 percent of the advertising industry, they account for just 11 percent of creative directors. Right the Ratio’s mission is lead by female creative leaders in the industry and encourages women creatives to seek leadership roles by arming them with practical advice and tips and serving as a platform to network.

While these campaigns have seen tangible gains and gotten female talent behind the camera, there is still more ground to cover. A recent analysis by TheWrap found that only 3.3 percent of the films scheduled for release this year by the six major Hollywood studios have a female director, the lowest percentage in at least five years and only 8 percent of this year's Super Bowl commercials had a female director.

Commercial Directing Breeds Film Directors

Initiatives like Free the Bid and Right the Ratio are essential towards making not only the advertising industry more inclusive, but also the film and television industries. Securing commercial work gets a foot in the door and serves as a conduit for up-and-coming film and television directors. Spike Jonze, David Fincher and Michael Bay started their careers directing commercials and music videos. Commercial work not only gives up-and-coming directors filmmaking experience, but it provides them with financial security to pursue creative endeavors and paves the way to break into the film industry.

Where Can Agency Producers Source Female Commercial Directors?

Modern Producer is an innovative portal that streamlines the hunt for commercial directors, content creators, VFX companies and post houses by connecting agency producers directly to sales reps. Producers can seamlessly search for directors by name or genre and source talent within the roster.

A common roadblock is not the lack of opportunity for female directors, but the lack of available talent. Resources are limited for finding commercial directors whether they’re male or female. Add time constraints and tight deadlines to the mix and agency producers more often than not will go with someone at the top of the roster or a director they’ve already worked with. If the change for Hollywood to be more inclusive starts in advertising, what are the resources for agency producers to source female directors? Hubs like Modern Producer are a good place to start.

What Is Modern Producer?

Modern Producer is an innovative portal that streamlines the hunt for commercial directors, content creators, VFX companies and post houses by connecting agency producers directly to sales reps. Producers can seamlessly search for directors by name, gender or genre and source talent within the roster.

Modern Producer is not just another database or list of content creators and directors. With its user-friendly interface, the portal is an interactive network that allows you to search up-to-date rosters of available talent, communicate directly to A-list director reps and review reels tailored to your project.

ModernProducer.com is a vital ad agency resource for producers to extend their network of female commercial directors and talent.

How To Become A Member At Modern Producer

ModernProducer.com is a vital ad agency resource for producers to extend their network of both commercial directors and reps.

Agency or freelance producers can sign up for a single search or an annual membership with unlimited searches. For more information, please visit www.modernproducer.com or email [email protected]


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