Vice founder and chief executive, Shane Smith, has been named as the Cannes Lions 2016 Media Person of the Year.
Smith has been chosen for the honour that was created in 1999 to recognise innovators who have shaped the future of media.
Vice Media has grown rapidly since its incarnation as a print magazine. The media company has gone on to become an international multimedia brand that has recently launched its own news channel, Viceland.
Philip Thomas, chief executive of Lions Festivals, described Smith as an “influential figure in today’s media landscape” and a “man of great talent, diversity and unstoppable drive".
Thomas credited him for “helping to reinvent the news documentary” and “present complicated and urgent subjects like the environment and criminal justice in fresh, accessible terms".
Commenting on the award, Smith said: “When I was a young man, one of my great joys was to go to my local repertory theatre and watch the feature film of the best of Cannes Lions awards. To see the funny, salacious and over the top commercials from around the world offered a window into a different and tantalizing dimension to a teenager living in snowy Canada.
“As such, to accept the award for Cannes Lions Media Person of the Year is simultaneously humbling and immensely pleasurable because although you don’t get into the business to win hardware, it sure makes life a lot more fun when you do.”
Smith will be presented with the honour during the awards ceremony on 22 June. The eight-day festival in Cannes, France will take place between 18-25 June this year.