John Hegarty, 1st to be awarded Lion of St.Mark

Advertising, Cannes Lions, Marketing

Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity announced the inauguration of a new accolade at this year’s event, The Lion of St. Mark, with the first trophy going to John Hegarty.

The Lion of St. Mark trophy is based upon the original Lions awarded at the Festival which were modelled on the lion statue in St. Mark’s Square in Venice, location of the first Festival in 1954 and alternating host city with Cannes before Cannes became the Festival’s permanent home in 1984

The new award is presented in celebration and honour of a long and outstanding contribution to creativity in communications. Cannes Lions will proudly present the first ever Lion of St. Mark to Sir John Hegarty, Worldwide Creative Director and Founder of Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH).

Hegarty started his career in advertising as a junior Art Director at Benton and Bowles, London, in 1965. In 1967 he joined the Cramer Saatchi consultancy which became Saatchi & Saatchi in 1970, where he was a founding shareholder. He left in 1973 to co-found TBWA London as Creative Director.

In 1982 he started Bartle Bogle Hegarty with John Bartle and Nigel Bogle which was soon to become one of the most talked about and awarded advertising agencies in the world. The agency has won every Agency of the Year accolade and every creative award possible and has been at the forefront of the industry for 29 years. BBH was Cannes very first Agency of the Year in 1993 winning the title again the following year.


In the first two decades of BBH’s history, Sir John was responsible for campaigns for Levi’s such as the ground breaking commercial starring an unknown model called Nick Kamen who stripped off down to his boxer shorts in a launderette, and introduced the British to the phrase ‘Vorsprung Durch Technik’ for Audi. He was the first to pick a young model/actor called Brad Pitt to star in a commercial and he also pioneered the importance of music in commercials. The result being the soundtracks from nine BBH commercials getting to the number one spot.

John Hegarty has won Golds at every industry awards including Cannes Lions, D&AD and British Television. He has also been voted as one of the most influential people in fashion thanks to his work with Levi’s. Also, he was given a knighthood by the Queen in 2007 in recognition of his services to the advertising and creative industries.

Sir John Hegarty will be presented with the Lion of St. Mark in Cannes during the Film, Film Craft, Creative Effectiveness, and Titanium and Integrated Awards Ceremony on Saturday 25 June.

58th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity takes place on 19-25 June, in Cannes.