The award is presented to advertisers who have distinguished themselves for inspiring innovative marketing of their products and who embrace and encourage the creative work produced by their agencies.
Mars, which is nearly 100 years old, won its first Cannes Lion in 1990 and a Radio Grand Prix in 2007 for its Snickers "hoedown" ad. Its total haul of 77 Lions includes 11 Golds.
Paul Michaels, president of Mars, said: "We are grateful for the recognition of the Cannes Lions Advertiser of the Year Award. This award is a testament to the fantastic work of our Mars Associates and our agency teams at BBDO and DDB."
Mars brands include M&Ms, Skittles, Pedigree, Whiskas, Uncle Ben's and Wrigley.
Philip Thomas, Cannes Lions CEO, said: "Mars' creative and skilful approach to the brand communication of its diverse product portfolio has been rewarded at Cannes for many years."
"Lions have been won for work from countries as diverse as France, the US, the UK, Brazil, South Africa, Portugal, Chile, and many more – a testament to a company which truly embraces creativity and demands outstanding work from its agencies."
The trophy will be presented in Cannes to Bruce McColl, chief marketing officer at Mars, during the Film, Film Craft, Branded Entertainment and Content, and Titanium and Integrated Lions on Saturday 23 June.
Previous winners of the Advertiser of the Year award:
2011 – Ikea
2010 – Unilever
2009 – Volkswagen
2008 – P&G
2007 – Honda
2006 – Adidas
2005 – Sony PlayStation
2004 – BMW
2003 – Nike
2002 – Swatch
2001 – Anheuser Busch
2000 – Sony
1999 – Virgin
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