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Tuesday, 9 October, 2001, 09:35 GMT 10:35 UK
Coke backs Harry Potter literacy drive
Harry Potter
The film will be premièred in the UK
Coca-Cola has unveiled its marketing plans for its multi-million dollar tie-in with the Harry Potter movie, including a drive to get children reading.

The soft drinks giant won the race to link up with eagerly awaited first film to the tune of $150m (£102m).

As part of the deal Coca-Cola will give $18m (£12m) to the US Reading is Fundamental (RIF) campaign to encourage literacy in children.

JK Rowling
JK Rowling wanted to ensure her books were not over-exploited
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, as it is named in America, goes on general release in both the US and UK on 16 November.

It will première in London under the British title Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Filmed at Leavesden Studios in Hertfordshire, it stars John Cleese, Alan Rickman, Robbie Coltrane, Dame Maggie Smith and Zoe Wanamaker.

The central characters of Harry, Ron and Hermione are played by Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson.

Coca-Cola's marketing strategy will see television adverts, in-store promotions, giveaways and reading tours.

Coca-Cola beat off other companies to land the marketing deal
Around 100 families in the US could win free trips to England as part of the Hogwarts Castle Adventure promotion.

More than 850 million Coca-Cola, Minute Maid and Hi-C promotional packages are being produced with Harry Potter imagery.

But a specific detail of its marketing deal was that no images of Harry Potter or any characters from the books or film can be used.

Author JK Rowling was keen that her young wizard would not be over-exploited as part of the campaign.

She also insisted that the soft drinks giant donate money to community projects as part of the deal.

Magic shows

Coca-Cola said it had tried to link its campaign to the positive messages contained in the Harry Potter books.

The donation to RIF will see more than 100,000 books head to schools and community centres.

As many as five million children could benefit from the literacy programme.

The company is also sponsoring a mobile three-year cross-country reading tour, featuring puppet and magic shows and story telling.

See also:

21 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Coke and Harry Potter join forces
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