The Martin Agency announced a pledge with the initiative to include female directors when triple-bidding for client production.
Said the Martin Agency in a statement, the announcement is "an effort to support diversity in film and content production, and to expand their pool of partners, executive producers and creative leaders."
Moving forward, the agency said it has pledged to have a woman director’s option considered, to the best of its ability, when triple-bidding a production for a client. In response to historical gender bias, Free the Bid aims to level the playing field, seek out diversity overall, and incentivize production companies to sign more women.
This announcement came weeks after The Martin Agency announced the hiring of Karen Costello as the new chief creative officer, replacing Joe Alexander. Alexander left in December amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
Costello said that she proudly supports the initiative with a firm belief that it not only reduces conscious or unconscious gender bias but improves creative output as well. “Diversity is something we all talk about, and Free the Bid is a simple but powerful action we can take that moves beyond just talk,” she said. “Opportunity, access, and exposure are the only ways more diverse voices will find their way into all aspects of what we do. And both the work and the world are better when they do.”
Shelley Zalis, CEO of The Female Quotient and founder of The Girls’ Lounge, supported The Martin Agency’s decision, stating: “We have to stop admiring the problem and start walking the talk. Done right, diversity is action oriented and intentional. Free the Bid is both.”