Steve Crane, chief executive officer of Business Link Japan Ltd, and Robert Heldt, president of Custom Media K.K., recorded a podcast for Export to Japan about social media marketing in Japan at the British Embassy Tokyo on 26 March.
Award-winning design house thanks clients, staff and vendors on 10th anniversary
TOKYO, March 22, 2018—Japan’s largest English-language magazine publisher and content creator today proudly celebrates 10 years of innovation and diversity with a new logo and slogan, Decade of Digital:
President Robert Heldt established Custom Media KK in his spare bedroom in March 2008, before moving the fledgling digital agency to a former nail salon near Akasaka-mitsuke Station. To save costs, for two years the co-founder and publisher, Simon Farrell, slept on a futon next to his desk. Both partners worked full-time unpaid for the first 12 months.
After launching BCCJ ACUMEN for the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ)—which led to other editorial and design marketing projects—Custom Media soon attracted skilled staff and moved to a spacious ground floor office with sweeping views of nearby Akasaka Palace.
BCCJ Executive Director Lori Henderson said: “A hearty congratulations and thank you to Custom Media for almost a decade of producing BCCJ ACUMEN magazine. The Custom Media publishing team, led by Simon Farrell and Robert Heldt, has supported the BCCJ not only through the magazine since 2009, but also with a variety of editorial and design projects related to the BCCJ British Business Awards. We are very pleased and proud that ACUMEN helped lay the foundation for Custom Media’s success over the past 10 years, and wish the team many happy returns!”
Masa Yamamoto, senior manager at Mori Building Co., Ltd., said: “Congratulations to Custom Media on their 10th anniversary! I have enjoyed a long and rewarding relationship with Custom Media. Their team plays an important role in sharing Mori Building’s vision for the future of Tokyo and helping us communicate with our international stakeholders through various editorial projects and creatives. I trust their ability to take full responsibility for major projects and to apply deep multicultural understanding and insight to the work they do for us.”
Despite the crippling 2008 Lehman financial crisis and devastating 2011 earthquake, the firm quickly grew to 20 employees. “The location was grand, but we soon outgrew the premises,” said Heldt.
Custom Media chose its present Azabudai office in 2013, to be near key clients the British (BCCJ) and American (ACCJ) chambers of commerce in Japan, Tokyo American Club (TAC), and Mori Building at Roppongi Hills.
“As publisher of BCCJ ACUMEN since 2009, The ACCJ Journal since 2013, and the exclusive advertising agency for TAC’s INTOUCH magazine since 2016, it’s a very useful location for meetings, events and socials,” said Farrell, recipient of a 2015 Japan-British Society Award from HIH Princess Akiko of Mikasa.
Heldt recalled: “The most rewarding and challenging year was 2013, which we started by launching BIJ.TV—the only bilingual video channel on Business in Japan. Then we moved office, won two top awards, and gained another major publishing contract, which we recently renewed until after 2020.”
The firm today employs 25 creative, sales and administration staff plus about 10 closely supervised freelance writers, photographers and consultants. “We manage the company hands-on to ensure our personal high standards are always applied with our personal touch,” said Heldt. “We will always be very grateful to our loyal clients, staff and vendors for helping us sustain such high quality of service and products.”
Megumi Okazaki has been head of project management at Custom Media since 2013: “It may sound like a cliché, but we are like family here. Even many former staff keep in touch and we often dine or relax together after a challenging but fun week.”
Studio Manager Paul Leonard has been at Custom Media the longest: “Diversity, innovation and work–life balance give us a country mile over rivals. Apart from bilingual locals and native English speakers, we’ve also had male, female, young and old Mexican, Swedish, African, Spanish, Irish, Dutch, Indonesian, Indian, and so on. It’s like the United Nations—without the fighting. We bring out the best in each other and are continuously learning from our diversity.”
Antoine Malin, Social Team Lead at Saatchi & Saatchi Tokyo, said: “Our very best wishes to Custom Media, an influential independent agency and publisher in Tokyo. I have used Custom Media several times for my luxury clients, with always a high level of satisfaction. I highly recommend their professional team to reach premium customers in Japan.”
Jane Best OBE, executive director of Refugees International Japan, said: “Our huge congratulations to Custom Media on their 10th anniversary! We chose them to partner with us several years ago, not just because they are great digital and print designers, editors, proofreaders, communicators and project managers, but also because they care about our cause, which is critical. The diverse and creative Custom Media team always make time to discuss projects and meet deadlines to help us support people displaced by conflict in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America. Their generous pro bono bilingual branding, marketing and annual reports have helped us greatly to raise awareness, source funds and attract volunteers. We wish them all the best for the next decade and beyond.”
Custom Media creates compelling digital and print content for editorial, advertising, social media, websites, video, communications and events. Custom Media clients include corporations, governments, NGOs, clubs, private organisations, universities and retailers.
We’re celebrating 10 years and are very grateful for the wonderful support of our clients, staff and vendors. We’ve reached significant milestones over the past decade and look forward to many more exciting projects where we can help our clients reach new heights. Enjoy some of our favorite work and what our clients say about Custom Media.
Lori Henderson MBE Executive director British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ)
“A hearty congratulations and thank you to Custom Media for almost a decade of producing BCCJ ACUMEN magazine. The Custom Media publishing team, led by Publisher Simon Farrell and President Robert Heldt, has supported the BCCJ not only through the magazine since 2009, but also with a variety of editorial and design projects related to the annual BCCJ British Business Awards. We are very pleased and proud that BCCJ ACUMEN helped lay the foundation for Custom Media’s success over the past 10 years, and wish the team many happy returns!”
Masa Yamamoto Senior manager Mori Building Co., Ltd.
“Congratulations to Custom Media on their 10th anniversary! Mori Building has enjoyed a long and rewarding relationship with Custom Media. Their team plays an important role in sharing our vision for Tokyo’s urban redevelopment with the community and in helping us meet business challenges through spot-on creative. We trust their ability to take full responsibility for major projects and to apply deep multicultural understanding and insight to the work they do for us.”
Jane Best OBE Executive director Refugees International Japan
“Our huge congratulations to Custom Media on their 10th anniversary! We chose them to partner with us several years ago, not just because they are great digital and print designers, editors, proofreaders, and project managers, but also because they care about our cause, which is critical. The diverse and creative Custom Media team always make time to discuss projects and meet deadlines to help us support people displaced by conflict in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and South America. Their bilingual branding, marketing, and annual reports have helped us greatly to raise awareness, source funds, and attract volunteers. We wish them all the best for the next decade and beyond.”
Antoine Malin Social Team Lead Saatchi & Saatchi Tokyo
“Our very best wishes to Custom Media, an influential independent agency and publisher in Tokyo. I have used Custom Media several times for my luxury clients, with always a high level of satisfaction. I highly recommend their professional team to reach premium customers in Japan.”
Visit Campaign Asia to read what Custom Media President Robert Heldt has to say about corporate Japan and embracing global communication standards.
CampaignAsia.com provides a multifaceted view of the vibrant online marketing and communications industry through breaking news, controversial opinions, original brand-sentiment research, and in-depth features.
TOKYO, May 31, 2017—The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (CCCJ) is pleased to name award-winning Custom Media as publisher and exclusive advertising agency of The Canadian magazine’s special issue to mark the country’s 150 years of Confederation.
CCCJ Chairman Ron Haigh said: “The 150th anniversary of the Confederation is an event no Canadian will want to miss, whether they are at home or abroad. This special issue of The Canadian will be a permanent and proud record of strong bilateral ties between Canada and Japan—past, present and future. Custom Media has a fine track record in digital and print publishing and we welcome them to the CCCJ.”
Custom Media Publisher Simon Farrell said: “With a fresh new design and engaging content, this unique issue will feature the latest news, opinions, insights and more by and about Canadian people in Japan—working, studying or visiting—with a sharp focus on bilateral business, lifestyle and community including corporations, SMEs, entrepreneurs and NPOs.”
Editorial content will also cover Canadian sports, culture, education, history, food and arts in Japan. Distribution of The Canadian will be vastly increased and a website will be created for this special issue, from July 1, 2017.
The Canadian is the CCCJ’s quarterly magazine for members and is also distributed to a targeted and influential audience of businesses and key decision makers with an interest in the Canada–Japan relationship.
The Canadian 150th Confederation Anniversary Special Issue For enquiries: Editorial Simon Farrell firstname.lastname@example.org
TOKYO (March 23, 2017)—Custom Media is delighted to announce that it has been named the first-ever Premium Partner for the Export to Japan (E2J) online platform.
Not-for-profit organisation E2J—a unique partnership between the UK Government’s Department for International Trade, British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ), British Airways and Business Link Japan—provides vital support for UK firms to export products and services to the world’s third-biggest economy, through access to trusted, relevant and recent market insights, business opportunities, trade shows and other events.
Custom Media is the official publisher of monthly flagship magazines for both the BCCJ and American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ)—BCCJ ACUMEN and The Journal, respectively—and is exclusive advertising agency for the prestigious Tokyo American Club membership magazine INTOUCH. Custom Media also produces Business in Japan TV, the country’s only bilingual online video channel for news, features, interviews, and events.
To support marketing and promotion of E2J (www.exporttojapan.co.uk), Custom Media will share useful and informative E2J content across its social media channels and help identify further opportunities to increase exposure.
Custom Media President and Co-founder Robert Heldt said: “We are honoured to partner with Export to Japan and support UK firms through this new agreement. We see many opportunities in Japan for British companies and we are well equipped and experienced to help members of many industries enter and expand here.”
Custom Media will also be featured in live webinars broadcast from the British Embassy Tokyo on how to do business in Japan and related issues, and in the Department for International Trade “welcome pack” for firms interested in the Japan market.
Custom Media Publisher and Co-founder Simon Farrell said: “It’s been a long but rewarding process to become the first Premium Partner. I very much look forward to working with my creative team of writers, editors and innovative designers on marketing and promotional content to help UK firms succeed in Japan.”
Business Link Japan Managing Director Steve Crane said, “I have known the Custom Media team for a number of years, and I am delighted to welcome them on board as our Premium Partner at Export to Japan. I am confident they will make great partners with us to help UK businesses understand and enter the Japanese market. Export to Japan is about to enter an exciting new phase of growth, and the timing is perfect for Custom Media to become an integral part of the project.”
About Custom Media Custom Media is an award-winning and bilingual media, design and market entry & expansion agency specializing in innovative print and digital publishing.
With a diverse crew of multi-talented specialists, Custom Media creates thought-provoking and eye-catching advertising campaigns, marketing, promotion, sales material, websites and more. Custom Media’s comprehensive video service—including professional pre-production planning, coaching, shooting, editing, narration, subtitling, graphics and prompt delivery—allows clients to say exactly what they want and be heard by the right people.
Custom Media is proud to announce that it has been selected as PR partner of the Tokyo Shintora Matsuri, which will take place in November. The event promises to be a fantastic celebration of all that Japan has to offer, and in a central Tokyo location, too.
Development of the Shimbashi/Toranomon area is growing ever more rapidly, and it is a new international urban center. The Tokyo Shintora Matsuri will be the first major event to utilize the space created with the opening of Shintora Avenue between Tokyo’s Shimbashi and Toranomon.
FREE tickets available from Custom Media! To apply, send your full name, postal address and requested number of tickets to: email@example.com
With the themes of “Tohoku x Tokyo” and “Tradition x Innovation”, the Tokyo Shintora Matsuri is a declaration of the attractions of Japanese culture and the recovery of the Tohoku region from the Great East Japan Earthquake.
These themes will be introduced through parades, food, traditional arts, festival ornaments, gaming, anime and music from Tokyo and Tohoku.
Tohoku Rokkon Festival Parade
The matsuri will also feature the 80-minute Tohoku Rokkon Festival Parade, which symbolizes the renaissance of the Tohoku region through cultural entertainment from Aomori, Akita, Morioka, Yamagata, Sendai and Fukushima.
Housing Japan is the leading international real estate broker in Tokyo, specializing in the sale and rent of high-end property in central Tokyo as well as luxury homes and resorts in select locations around Japan. Custom Media partnered with Housing Japan to produce this year’s Spring edition for high-net-worth foreign buyers, investors, and expats.
The Housing Japan magazine showcases the best of Tokyo living by introducing the city’s lifestyles, fine accommodation, art, business, and travel.
Award-winning creative agency Custom Media K.K. will manage all social media in Japan for Lufthansa German Airlines, which is part of the Cologne-based group that operates the biggest fleet and carries more passengers than any other airline in Europe.
Tokyo-based bilingual content-creator Custom Media will manage the popular Facebook account of Lufthansa Japan until December 2016, producing weekly content in Japanese.
Renowned for diversity and innovation, Custom Media will also support Lufthansa’s advertising and promotional campaigns in Japan and provide other services as required.
Custom Media President Robert Heldt said: “Lufthansa is a premier global brand. Custom Media is very proud to be the airline’s social media marketing partner in Japan. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to solidify and extend Lufthansa’s strong brand presence with users of its services in Japanese.”
Custom Media is exclusive publisher of monthly magazines and media partner for the American (ACCJ) and British (BCCJ) chambers of commerce in Japan, and producer of BIJ TV, the first and only bilingual online video channel about Business in Japan.
Custom Media’s recent awards include BCCJ Company of the Year and Publisher Simon Farrell’s honour presented by HIH Princess Akiko of Misaka for “significant work in the field of Japanese-British relations.”
Custom Media is delighted to announce a new partnership with Tokyo American Club to manage all advertising for the private membership club’s website, newsletter and iNTOUCH magazine from May 1, 2016.
With a circulation of 5,300, iNTOUCH is distributed monthly to all Club members, as well as premier residences in Tokyo and first-class lounges at Narita International Airport.
With nearly 3,900 members, drawn from 50-plus nations, the Club offers a diverse range of cultural, business and recreational activities and amenities in the heart of the Japanese capital.
Award-winning Custom Media is Tokyo’s leading producer of bilingual magazines, videos, websites, communications and social media. President Robert Heldt said:“In this very competitive market, advertising is key for any organization to enter or expand here. We are very proud that Tokyo American Club has recognized us as the best local partner to help preserve and promote their valuable brand.”
Tokyo American Club Communications Director Shane Busato said: “By having Custom Media take charge of the Club’s advertising business, we will be able to focus our energy and resources on creating even better magazine and website experiences for more Club Members,”
Custom Media Publisher Simon Farrell said: “Tokyo American Club and Custom Media are two great brands that have enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial relationship. This new partnership further strengthens our ties, and we are honored to be chosen from among stiff opposition to help the Club reach some of Japan’s most discerning residents and organizations.”
Tokyo American Club members enjoy access to world-class recreation facilities, including a rooftop pool, bowling alley, golf simulators, full-size gym, library, childcare center and spa, as well as a host of fitness, cultural and educational programs for all ages.
Besides being home to five restaurants, a bar and a seasonal café, the eight-story facility features seven overnight Guest Studios and superlative meeting, party and conference facilities.
Tokyo American Club was described by private club consultants the McMahon Group as “light years ahead of its U.S. counterparts” and “[as] quite possibly the finest private club facility in the world.”
Custom Media is exclusive publisher of monthly magazines and media partner for the American (ACCJ) and British (BCCJ) chambers of commerce in Japan, and producer of BIJ TV, the first and only bilingual online video channel about Business in Japan.
Custom Media’s recent awards include BCCJ Company of the Year and Publisher Simon Farrell’s honor presented by HIH Princess Akiko of Misaka for “significant work in the field of Japanese-British relations.”
An award-winning Japanese IPO specialist has invested in Custom Media, a Tokyo-based mid-size digital and print media and marketing communications agency specializing in market entry and expansion for foreigners in Japan and Japanese companies abroad.
Masashi Kamimura, aged 53, has been appointed a board member and the director of Corporate Affairs and Business Development at Custom Media.
He was recently placed on the global recruitment industry’s “Hall of Fame” for being the first individual to take two companies to the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE). Kamimura was awarded the industry’s highest accolade for his “unrivalled career in the recruitment industry … a real pioneer of staffing who has made an outstanding contribution to our sector … an industry icon.”
With 17 award categories, the annual Recruitment International Asia Awards was held at Tokyo American Club on November 27, 2015.
Kamimura said: “I am very pleased to help take Custom Media to the next level. We have some exciting plans and the Custom Media team is very keen and gifted, so that will help enormously.”
Custom Media President Robert Heldt said: “We have been discussing this for quite some time, so now Mr. Kamimura has joined us we are very pleased. To have someone of his pedigree on our board is quite a coup for us and we will appreciate his wisdom, experience and network as we consider our options.”
Kamimura started his career in 1985 at Recruit, Co., Ltd., which sent him to the US for seven years to publish a jobs magazine for Japanese students there. Returning to Japan as managing director of JAC Recruitment, Kamimura grew sales and profits by a staggering 40 times in three years, taking the company to a high-profile IPO in 2006.
His second IPO, on the TSE second section, came in December 2014 after he took on a crippling two-year deficit at I am Inc. in 2008 to lead a merger with Interworks in 2012.
Aichi Prefecture-born Kamimura graduated with a BA in English literature from Osaka University in 1985.
The two other partners of Custom Media are co-founders President Robert Heldt, 38, and Publisher Simon Farrell, aged 55.
Founded in 2008, Custom Media is a mid-sized print and digital design, media and marketing agency based in Azabudai, Tokyo that publishes The Journal for the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, and BCCJ ACUMEN, for the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan. Custom Media also produces BIJ.TV, the first and only online bilingual video channel on successful Business in Japan.
The global recruitment industry placed a Japanese businessman on its coveted Hall of Fame for being the first individual to take two local recruitment companies to the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), in a formal awards ceremony at Tokyo American Club on Friday.
Masashi Kamimura, Custom Media partner and director of Corporate Affairs and Business Development, accepted the recruitment industry’s highest accolade for his “unrivalled career in the recruitment industry … a real pioneer of staffing who has made an outstanding contribution to our sector … an industry icon.”
With 17 award categories, the annual Recruitment International Asia Awards was presented by London-based Director David Head, a 30-year industry veteran.
Dozens of industry leaders arrived from Hong Kong, Singapore, the US and Europe for the Friday afternoon ceremony and several big names celebrated getting awards such as Randstad, Robert Walters and Spring Professional, as well as some smaller operators and startups.
Custom Media President Robert Heldt said: “We are very privileged to have Mr. Kamimura as our latest investor, partner and advisor. We have very exciting plans and we look forward to a bright future as our diverse team of creatives develops to serve our increasing portfolio of clients even better.”
Kamimura told guests: “It is obvious that those IPOs have not been accomplished by only me, but by the hard work of all staff members and support by clients and candidates. Therefore, I would like to my heartful thanks to all of them.”
He added: “I want to emphasize that both profit and social contributions are vital to success in business. I am now looking forward to developing Custom Media, which is already a very well known company among the foreign community here for delivering vital information to businesses. As a strong and wide bridge between Japan and overseas, Custom Media will take a very important role in Japan in the future.”
Kamimura, aged 53, started his career in 1985 at Recruit, Co., Ltd., which sent him to the US for seven years to publish a jobs magazine for Japanese students there. Returning to Japan in 1996 as JAC Recruitment’s Osaka branch manager, he became managing director in 2003 and grew sales and profits by a staggering 40 times before taking the company to a high-profile IPO in 2006.
His second IPO, on the TSE “Mothers” section, came in December 2014 after he took on a crippling two-year deficit at venture recruitment company I am Inc. in 2008 to lead a merger with Interworks in 2012.
Aichi Prefecture-born Kamimura graduated with a BA in English literature from Osaka University in 1985.
Custom Media is a mid-sized print and digital design, media and marketing agency based in Azabudai, Tokyo that publishes The Journal for the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, and BCCJ ACUMEN, for the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan. Custom Media also produces BIJ.TV, the first and only online bilingual video channel on successful Business in Japan.
H.I.H. Princess Akiko of Mikasa has presented an award from the Japan-British Society to Simon Farrell, publisher and co-founder of Tokyo creative agency Custom Media.
Founded in 1908, the Japan-British Society each year recognises one Briton and one Japanese for “significant work in the field of Japanese-British relations by individuals and organisations which have not otherwise been acknowledged.”
Farrell’s award was for publishing since 2009 BCCJ ACUMEN, a business, culture and lifestyle magazine for the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan; Custom Media’s helping British companies enter and expand in Japan, and for community and pro bono work for good causes run by Britons in Japan.
After accepting the award, Farrell said: “I am very surprised and honoured to be successfully nominated for this award and I gladly accept it on behalf of my diverse and brilliant colleagues at Custom Media, especially co-founder and President Robert Heldt who has worked tirelessly and diligently to help develop our creative agency since 2008.”
Other speakers at the Imperial Hotel Tokyo annual gala dinner awards ceremony were British Ambassador Tim Hitchens CMG LVO—who is also Japan—British Society president—and writer and broadcaster Peter Tasker, one of the foremost authorities on Japanese finance, economics and culture.
Founded in 1908 “to encourage the study of things British and promote cordial relations between the peoples of the United Kingdom and Japan,” the Japan-British Society has about 2,000 members and is supported by some 100 Japanese and British companies.
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Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The real estate challenges and ambitions
Global events legacy: International Cities share past experience & learnings
Real Estate Investment into Japan
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Managing Risk in Building Global Real Estate Co-organiser: Exposure: the need to Benchmark
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BIJ.TV is a permanent record in English and Japanese of your company’s message, opinions, services, people, products and solutions—to attract new clients, vendors, staff and investors. BIJ.TV e-newsletter is sent to over 10,000 global executives with all new videos.
Custom Media proposed a series of videos to be distributed via a blog focused on the hotel’s dining offerings. To date seven videos have been published on the connoisseur restaurant blog with more videos planned and in the pipeline.
With a fresh design and more focused content, the relaunched Journal further builds on the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan’s prestigious reputation.
The exciting new Journal represents a total departure from the past.
This 2-in-1 magazine targets a broad readership beyond ACCJ members.
Each section has a distinct look and feel.
Comprising 70% objective analysis, the first, long-format section is devoted to insights on the issues facing businesspeople in Japan. Articles include comment by experts, and are written by professional journalists with experience in media outlets such as Bloomberg, Nikkei, and Reuters.
Several regular columns will appear in monthly installments, with titles such as The Third Arrow, Tech in Asia, and Voices of Japan.
For the first time, syndicated content is featured from select partners such as Nikkei Asian Review, Fast Company, and The Diplomat.
Translations of Japanese media content also appear in each issue.
The second part of The Journal is reserved for ACCJ news and member contributions, which we always welcome from our 3,000-plus associate and commercial members.
Content in this section closely resembles that in the existing format, with photos and reviews of ACCJ events, as well as articles from chamber leaders in the Tokyo, Kansai, and Chubu areas.
The new telljp.com website is devoted to increasing awareness and understanding of mental health issues, supporting those in need in the community and promoting fund-raising events. The revamped site is designed to help TELL achieve its mission to be a leader in the community in addressing the country’s growing mental health needs and make it easier to get help and support.
The refreshed look has been developed and designed with the help of Custom Media, with unique illustrations by artist Kento Iida created especially for TELL. The streamlined platform provides a wealth of information and resources relating to mental health issues, a directory of English-speaking services in Japan, infographics and a new page about the cost of stigma in our society. The new website makes it even easier to make donations and get involved with TELL.
Iconic Italian brand picks top creative agency to market corporate gifts.
TOKYO, August 7, 2014—Custom Media, an award-winning full-service media agency, has been selected as the official agent offering customized Moleskine notebooks and related items to companies in Japan.
“Custom Media’s expertise in developing creative and finely designed communication tools, as well as its ability to understand a global brand like ours and connect with a Japanese audience, led to its selection as our partner here,” said Andrea Rossi, B2B global director of Moleskine.
Moleskine notebooks can be transformed into a mobile branding tool, perfect for corporate or holiday gifts, product launches or training and development tools.
Custom Media can help clients design their perfect notebook, and the options for customization are vast.
Large or pocket-size notebooks can be tailored to include debossed company logos, paper wraps with special messaging, and colored elastic bands and bookmarks. Inserts, custom pages and endpapers provide space for visual messaging for modern businesspeople on the move.
“When Moleskine approached us for representation in the B2B Japanese market, we were already using its products and were aware of the brand’s prestige and sophistication, so forming a partnership was an easy decision,” said Robert Heldt, president of Custom Media.
“We believe every brand has a unique story, and together as a branding agency and a legendary notebook maker, we believe it is our duty to help our customers find, design and share their stories in a memorable way,” Heldt said.
Moleskine’s Rossi added, “Moleskine notebooks are suitable for both creative and professional minds, two strong elements in this country. Ours is a popular brand with high quality standards, recognized in Japan thanks to widespread distribution in top department stores. Our products appeal to Japanese customers thanks to their simple and neat design.”
Custom Media has been creating bespoke communication tools since 2008, building a solid reputation for top-quality designs, products and solutions. Publishers of the ACCJ Journal magazine for the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan and BCCJ ACUMEN magazine for the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan, the firm was voted Company of the Year at the BCCJ 2013 British Business Awards.
Moleskine, founded in Milan in 1997, offers a collection of tools that assist contemporary creative professionals and knowledge workers in the formation and elaboration of words, images and ideas. Moleskine objects are distributed in 92 countries at over 24,000 points of sale.
Custom Media has been named Company of the Year at the British Business Awards.
Michael Woodford, the Olympus whistleblower, and Jon Harding, chief operating officer of UK Trade & Investment, were among the six independent judges who awarded the Tokyo-based media and design agency the coveted gong.
The award recognised the company’s values, diversity, growth and development in the past year, and for BCCJ ACUMEN magazine, which it has been publishing since December 2009 in an era of bankruptcies, deflation, disinvestment and natural disaster.
The British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ), which hosts the annual gala event, had appointed a panel of six senior leaders based in Japan and the UK to judge 51 nominees in six categories.
Before revealing the winners, British Ambassador to Japan Tim Hitchens CMG LVO congratulated UK businesses for their achievements in Japan. “This evening is a wonderful testament to what has been happening in the British business community here in the last 12 months”.
Receiving the award, Robert Heldt, president of Custom Media, said it was a great honour and surprise to win the Company of the Year award, especially given the illustrious opposition. The other nominees were Rolls Royce Japan, Co., Ltd.; Bentley Motors Japan; British Airways; PwC Japan; Oxford Instruments K.K.; and Robert Walters Japan K.K.
“I want to thank my business partner Simon Farrell and Jane Best, the CEO of Refugees International Japan, who nominated Custom Media for this award, as well as our great team at the office, the BCCJ executive committee and secretariat, and our loyal advertisers and other clients,” Heldt said.
Founded in 2008, Custom Media employs 15 full-time staff at its Akasaka office. The company also produces the Business in Japan TV (BIJ.TV) online video channel and publishes the ACCJ Journal for the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan.
Attended by 220 guests, the November 1 black tie event at the Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo was as British as the Dover sole and clotted cream on the menu. The meal also featured toasted English muffins, baked Scottish salmon and truffle-flavoured lemon chutney, along with beef and grain mustard gravy, fidget pie, and braised red cabbage with Earl Grey. A bottle of scotch decorated each table while guests also enjoyed Stilton, nut and dried fruit hot tart, with Cotswold honey ice cream and blackcurrant compote.
Conspicuous this year in Japan have been British business, culture and diplomacy, with the BCCJ marking its 65th anniversary and various events being held to commemorate 400 years of UK–Japan ties.