Walter Hobbs, publisher, on the Naughty List

So far in “My PR Christmas Wish” series we’ve looked at The Santa Clause (film), Let it Snow (T.V. movie), & Christmas Joy (book).

Today, we’re returning back to the big screen to see what other communications profession falls victim to being vilified during the holiday season.

And the winner is Walter Hobbs, the grumpy, and sometimes mean biological father of Buddy in Elf (2003, New Line Cinema) starring Will Ferrall and a whole slew of other big Hollywood names.

Walter also works at a children’s book publishing company, and is the one who needs reforming for Christmas.


I won’t go into length about this movie.  I am sure that you’ve seen it.  If you haven’t, then most likely you’re at least familiar with the film through the extensive marketing done for this film alone.

There are entire Pinterest boards dedicated to the movie


Pinterest Boards for Elf 

It has it’s own Facebook page

There are literally thousands of Elf related items on Etsy


There’s the musical that continues to tour, although it’s no longer on Broadway


Even more than a decade after the premier of Elf, there are thousands of mass-produced Elf items for sale. Here’s just a few:


Department 56 Elf Village



Elf Standup via



Elf Ugly Christmas Sweater for sale on


Okay, enough of that. You’re probably thinking, what does all that have to do with the movie Elf’s portrayal of a children’s book publisher as “the new scrooge“?  

I’m glad you asked.

Because Elf has built a broad brand for itself,  every time someone watches the DVD, sees a touring or local production of the musical or purchases a movie tie-in item,  Walter Hobbs, publisher, will forever be on the naughty list until he gains redemption.

Walter Hobbs is to Elf as Scrooge is to A Christmas Carol. You can’t help but to associate the characters and their lack of morals, need for redemption and their lack of Christmas spirit with their profession.

Yes, at the end of the movie, Walter Hobbs changes for the better, standing up to the bosses of the publishing company he works for, and starts his own publishing firm. But, the groundwork has been laid throughout the film.  If you work for a big publisher, then you will end up being grumpy, stressed, mean and lacking Christmas spirit.  The only way you can save yourself, regain self-respect and get into the holiday spirit is to break free.

Okay, so maybe I’m looking a little to deep into Elf.  After all, it really is a funny movie that has lasting qualities.

But I can’t help but to think that Walter Hobbs could have been a member of any profession. Why not make him an accountant like Scrooge?  But, like so many films, shows and books these days, he was written in as a member of the communication field.

This is the fourth one so far that we’ve looked at the show marketers, public relations pros, market researchers and publishers as the new scrooges of the holiday season.

Who’s next? Check back Wednesday, December 7 to find out.

Thanks for following and sharing!

Note: None of the companies listed in this post are affiliated with PRDoctorIt in any way.   


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