The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity will award Hegarty with The Lion of St Mark at this year's event. The trophy has been modelled on the lion statue in St Mark's Square in Venice, which was the location of the first Festival in 1954.
Venice then alternated hosting the event with Cannes before Cannes became the Festival's permanent home in 1984.
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.
Hegarty began 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.
After leaving the agency in 1973 to co-found TBWA London as creative director, Hegarty started Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) with John Bartle and Nigel Bogle in 1982.
BBH was Cannes' very first Agency of the Year in 1993 winning the title again the following year.
Hegarty has been responsible for award winning campaigns for Levi's, introduced 'Vorsprung Durch Technik' for Audi to the UK and was the first person to hire actor Brad Pitt in his first TV ad.
BBH now has offices in London, New York, Singapore, São Paulo, Shanghai and Mumbai. The agency has also won the Queen's Award for Export Achievement twice, in 1996 and 1997.
Hegarty was given a knighthood by the Queen in 2007 in recognition of his services to the advertising and creative industries.
Terry Savage, Cannes Lions chairman, said: "Sir John's passionate commitment, brilliant creative mind and persistence in taking risks and pushing boundaries has revolutionised and changed the face of advertising.
"His iconic work is much admired around the world and has influenced and inspired thousands. It is with great honour that we will present Sir John with the first Lion of St Mark for his outstanding contribution to creativity in communications."
Hegarty said: "This is obviously a great honour. It is there to remind us all that creativity is the driving force of our business and of course, the driving force of brand success."
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk