Flynt: Playboy’s Nude-Free Decision Is ‘Ludicrous’
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Larry Flynt today said he thinks Playboy is making a big mistake doing away with fully nude photos in its U.S. magazine and has called the surprising decision “ludicrous.”
Yesterday, Playboy CEO Scott Flanders said that the magazine will stop publishing images of fully nude women because the ubiquity of porn over the web has made the pics “passé.”
However, Flynt, the founder and publisher of Hustler magazine, said it’s a “sign of desperation” and a bad strategic move in an interview with CNN Money today.
“There were a lot of advertisers that Playboy could never get because they had nudity,” Flynt said. “They take the nudity out and they think they’re going to get more advertisers. But you take the nudity out, you lose the demographic and you can’t get advertisers. So it’s a bad business decision.
“Taking nudes out of the magazine,” Flynt said, “is just going to contribute to the attrition of the magazine” and stripping away its defining identity.
“What made Playboy popular to begin with?” he said. “It wasn’t the interviews. It wasn’t the editorial content. It was the centerfold. They’re taking out the main event. It just doesn’t make sense.”
Flynt said Hustler, despite having a “very small circulation” of about 100,000, still makes money.
“I will do anything that makes sense business-wise because I’m a businessman,” Flynt said. “But that makes no sense business-wise. That’s the one thing they buy the magazine for. It defies logic for me.”
After dropping nudes and perhaps eliminating the centerfold, which has been talked about, will Flynt still regard Playboy as competitor?
“I don’t think they were ever a competitor,” Flynt said. “My only competitor is ‘Gynecological Monthly.'”