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Calbee UK was the first European subsidiary of Calbee Inc, the £1.2bn Japanese snacking giant. Open Comms was approached by the directors to manage the launch of the business and in particular the manufacturing facility in Deeside, North Wales. In addition, the agency was asked to manage the corporate PR and social media for the business to include drafting press releases and case studies, engaging with national and regional media and reinforcing the credentials of the business as an employer brand.


Rather than the usual ribbon cutting ceremony, Open Comms recommended reinforcing the coming together of three countries; England, Wales and Japan. The idea was to create a press shot with a difference. Calbee UK is Japanese owned, its gold standard production facility is in Wales and its head quarters is in Leeds and so the hoisting of three flags was used to represent this and to mark this momentous occasion.

It was essential that following a £10m investment the national and local media were made aware of the launch. Open was tasked with engaging with all media, arranging visits and interviews. In addition, the agency worked alongside Calbee colleagues to arrange the event, sourcing local suppliers to provide food, drinks and small gifts for guests who attended on the day.


The launch was a great success with more than 50 local people coming along to celebrate and mark the occasion.
Dignitaries from Japan and Deeside came together to share in the excitement as the plans for the business were unveiled and discussed.
Press coverage was secured in both national and regional media, including broadcast.
Better still, it didn’t rain so the flags worked exceptionally well – and there wasn’t a ribbon in sight!