Playboy to Eliminate Nude Pics From Magazine

Oct 12, 2015 8:14 PM PST

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Playboy magazine will stop publishing images of fully nude women because the ubiquity of porn over the web has made the pics “passé,”  CEO Scott Flanders said today.

The decision, made for its U.S. magazine property, will be in effect starting with its March edition. Founder Hugh Hefner, 89, has given the green light, according to The New York Times.

Playboy will still feature a Playmate of the Month and offer provocative pictures of women. However those pics will be PG-13 rated.

“You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free,” Flanders said. “And so it’s just passé at this juncture.”

Flanders said Playboy’s U.S. edition is no longer profitable, but still is published as a marketing tool for the international editions and the Playboy licensing business. The magazine’s circulation dropped from 5.6 million in 1975 to about 800,000 now, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.

The magazine will makes wholesale changes to better compete with competitors like Vice.com for the same demographic.

Cory Jones, a top editor at Playboy, said that it will add a sex columnist written by a “sex-positive female,” but it remains to be decided whether there will still be a centerfold.

“A little more accessible, a little more intimate,” he said, noting Playboy will continue its tradition of investigative journalism, in-depth interviews and fiction.

The target demographic, Flanders said, is young men who live in cities. “The difference between us and Vice,” he said, “is that we’re going after the guy with a job.”

Some of the moves, like expanded coverage of liquor, are partly commercial, Flanders admitted to the Times.

He also noted that Playboy has tested consumer reaction in focus groups with an eye toward attracting millennials — people ages 18 to 30-something, which is highly coveted by publishers.

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