Super Bowl Ad Directors? Yeah It's Pretty Much An Exclusive Boy's Club

Add The Martin Agency to the list of ad shops that have signed the Free The Bid pledge to consider more women directors when putting out bids for client production work. Free The Bid is the grass roots organization that was founded in 2016 to promote gender equality in the commercial production bidding process. 

As the Association Of National Advertisers pointed out in a report last summer that process has a lot of issues and gender certainly ranks high on the list. 

The Martin Agency sent me a note this week letting me know of their decision and just for the heck of it I popped over to the Free The Bid site and found that they had recently posted some eye-opening stats on how lop-sided—from a gender perspective--the director community was for this year’s Super Bowl ads. 

A grand total of four women directed spots in this year’s game, per the Free The Bid Stats. Male directors? Forty-two or about 10 times as many. 



Maybe that’s why this year’s gaggle of ads has been tagged, by and large, as pretty lackluster, forgettable and just plain lame. And with a few exceptions I agree. But you’ve seen the reports, so I don’t need to rehash the details here. 

The lack of female directors in the game is just another reminder of why diversity in all its forms is so critical to the ad/marketing space. 


That’s not a news bulletin. Everybody knows that. But for some reason (okay, no doubt multiple complex reasons), the lag between that knowledge and implementing a diverse workforce throughout the industry remains a challenge. 

A challenge the industry needs to work harder and faster on to find a solution.

If you're not already familiar with it you can checkout the work by the women directors in this year's Super Bowl at the Free The Bid site.

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