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  Harry Potter hype: Debate
Updated 23 June 2003, 10.14
Books await despatch

Citizenship 11-14/KS3/Levels E&F
Business and its changing nature

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the fastest-selling book ever. Is it fair to whip up so much excitement?

Learning aims

  • Publishing books is a big business
  • Marketing campaigns change our behaviour
Open the debate by reading out the story;

Click the titles below for pro and anti-Potter Press Pack reports from our readers;

Rebecca isn't excited at all about the Order of the Phoenix

Kirsty tells us her plans for launch day

Main activity

Whole-class debate
This house believes that new Harry Potter books are worth making a fuss of.

Find notes for the main speeches by clicking the links below.

A formal structure to follow

Reasons why Potter hyping is OK

Reasons why Hyping the books is bad

Extension activity
Devise a completely honest marketing strategy for a well known cola drink or fast food restaurant.

What would our society be like if all advertising was completely honest?

Are younger people more likely to be misled by advertising than adults?

Teachers' Background

Big profits

  • Online bookseller Amazon (UK) received over 350,000 pre-orders for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

  • Their previous record of 65,000 was set by Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

  • Publisher Bloomsbury says the latest Potter novel will lift profits by more than a third, pre-tax profits of not less than 15m were expected for 2003.

  • In the USA alone 8.5m copies of the book are being shipped to stores.

Midnight queues are not new
  • In 1821, when the poet Byron had the latest parts of his popular Don Juan published, excited crowds banged on his publisher's door and windows.

  • Charles Dickens' novel, The Old Curiosity Shop, was published in parts. In 1841, crowds of fans in New York greeted the ship bringing in the latest part by shouting: "Is Little Nell dead?"

  • In 1854, The Bronze Soldier by GWM Reynolds sold 100,000 copies on the day it came out.

    For all links and resources click at top right.

More InfoBORDER=0
UKAre midnight queues new?
WorldJK sues newspaper over OOTP secrets
ClubWhat's all the fuss about Potter for?
ClubI'm going to be queuing up at midnight



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