Diageo to combine UDV, Guinness

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The marketing departments of United Distillers & Vintners and Guinness are expected to be combined following the July 17 announcement by Diageo, London, that it will merge its spirits and beer divisions. The cost-saving move is likely to lead to reshuffling of several senior marketing positions. The merger will bring together a dozen of the world's leading alcoholic beverage brands including Baileys, Cuervo, Guinness, J&B, Malibu, Smirnoff, Tanqueray and Johnnie Walker. The combined operations reported operating profits of $1.8 billion last year. UDV agencies include Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Leo Burnett Co. and J. Walter Thompson Co.; Guinness agencies include Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and Abbott Mead Vickers/ BBDO. As part of Diageo's added focus on its spirits and beer business, the company also on July 17 confirmed the widely anticipated sale of its Pillsbury Co. to General Mills for $10.5 billion.

Copyright July 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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