Harry Potter and the $48K Branded Merch Theft
We can definitely understand the allure of the "Harry Potter" novels and movies, with both being immensely successful examples of storytelling and characterization. Owing to their popularity, promotional products and merchandise related to the creations have proven mainstays for some time, and that regard led Adam Hill, an employee of the Harry Potter studio tour, to lift more than $48,000 in branded merch from the tour shop between December 2017 and March 2018.
It has been nearly eight-and-half years since the release of the last movie in the series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows—Part 2,” but author J.K. Rowling’s handiwork has not lost its magic touch in moving merch. According to CNN, that hold over the buying public compelled Hill to confiscate badges, key rings, ties, wands and other items from the studio tour store and take to eBay to resell them.
Adam Hill a Harry Potter Studio Employee stole $48,000 worth of magical merchandise, hid it under his desk, sold on EBay. How much time you think he received? https://t.co/NPEBMU8gb7
— A life of Love (@WorthyWomen1) January 5, 2020
“In a significant breach of trust, Adam Hill had the audacity to steal thousands of pounds of merchandise from Warner Bros. in plain sight of his work colleagues, but they reported him after growing suspicious of the items constantly piling up under his desk,” Jan Muller, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said of the London-situated crimes.
The senior crown prosecutor went on to state that he and his peers determined that Hill had also been preparing to move more parcels, making his culpability pretty apparent. For attempting to make the goods vanish, the would-be merch magician, as of last Friday, has begun serving time and cannot return to Warner Bros. Studios.
We wonder if news of his conviction will in any way affect how the buyers to whom Hill sold the pilfered goods feel about the merch. Also, given that the promotional products industry prides itself on trust and legitimacy, we are also curious to see if Warner Bros. will further look to unravel Hill’s chamber of secrets by making outreach to those parties so as to recall the products, or if it will let them keep the items and simply absorb the losses.