Walsh's consistent and painstaking development of a portfolio of leading brands - Guinness, Smirnoff and Johnnie Walker, to name but three - has created a profitable drinks empire that operates with the dynamism and marketing savvy of an FMCG firm. It's also a leader in the responsible drinking campaign. Diageo's combination of brand strength and light-on-its-feet responses should see the firm fare better than most in the downturn.
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