Famed men’s magazine Playboy is to bring back the nudes exactly 12 months after ditching them in, what appears to be, a failed attempt to attract new Gen Y readers and more mainstream advertisers.
The “no nudes” policy clearly hasn’t resonated with readers or advertisers and next month’s issue will feature topless “Playmate” Elizabeth Elam as Miss March 2017 alongside the coverline “Naked is normal” and a distinct nod to the magazine’s 70s heritage.
The decision to bring nudes back was apparently at the behest of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner himself. Hefner’s son Cooper took over as the magazine’s chief creative officer in October and was reportedly no fan of the no-nudes policy either.
Playboy originally decided to ditch the nude models – something it had run since 1953 – citing falling circ and ad revenues and the fact that nudity was freely available on the internet. It also tried to mine new readers in the under 30s and wanted to throw-off its “dadsy” image.
The magazine sells about 700,000 a month in the US and there are 33 international editions around the globe. There hasn’t been an Australian Playboy since the late 90s.
“I’ll be the first to admit the way in which the magazine portrayed nudity was dated, but removing it entirely was a mistake,” said Cooper Hefner.
“Nudity was never the problem, because nudity isn’t a problem. Today, we’re taking our identity back and rediscovering who we are.
“This is a remarkably special moment personally and professionally that I get to share this issue of Playboy magazine with my Dad, as well as with readers.
“It is a reflection of how the brand can best connect with my generation and generations to come,” he said.