18 July 2000

Following yesterday’s announcement by Diageo that it is to combine its spirits and beer divisions, insiders are expecting a merger of the Guinness marketing department with that of United Distillers & Vintners. A number of senior job changes are also expected.

The worldwide melding of the two division will see a dozen of the planet's leading beverage brands sharing the same stable, among them Baileys, Cuervo, Guinness, J&B, Malibu, Smirnoff, Tanqueray and Johnnie Walker.

London-based agencies servicing the brands include Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Leo Burnett. and J Walter Thompson (all UD&V); and Ogilvy & Mather and Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO (Guinness).

The new operation will focus on four strategic markets: the UK USA, Spain and Ireland – between them accounting for 60% of Diageo's $1.8 billion operating profits.

News source: Advertising Age - Daily Deadline