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Kelly Barrett

Based in the US


Copywriter at Leo Burnett Chicago. After graduating from the VCU Brandcenter in May 2020 - a universally bad time to graduate from anywhere - Kelly and her partner, Katie DiNardo, were fortunate enough to get an interview at Leo Burnett with their now boss, Sam Shepherd.


After cutting her teeth on her early professional projects, such as writing radio ads for The Bank of America Roval 400 NASCAR race, she had the chance to work on a project that would change her career and subsequently inform the type of work she aspires to do: ‘The Lost Class’.


‘The Lost Class’ is a campaign from Change the Ref, a gun safety organisation founded by Manuel and Patricia Oliver, in honour of their son, Joaquin who was murdered at the Parkland school shooting. For the campaign, Leo Burnett managed to get David Keene, former president and current board member of the NRA, and John Lott, American economist, political commentator, and gun rights advocate, to deliver commencement speeches to a graduating class of 3,044 empty chairs - representing the number of students who should have graduated high school in the US that year, but were killed in shootings.


After this project, Kelley was recognised by the Cannes Lions Creativity Report as the ‘Copywriter of the Year’ - something that she expresses gratitude for, and even more so for the additional recognition that the Change the Ref movement has received as a result.



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