Video: Playboy CEO Talks Porn With CNNMoney
LOS ANGELES — When Playboy CEO Scott Flanders was interviewed by CNNMoney about the company's strategic business shift away from nudity, he also offered his thoughts on the ubiquity of pornographic content online.
"After 62 years, Playboy is putting its clothes back on," Flanders said. "It served its purpose. When Hefner launched the magazine in 1953 nudity was provocative, and today it's passé.
"My personal view is that unfortunately availability of porn in some cases has substituted for intimacy in personal relationships," he added. "And that is unfortunate and Playboy would like to be a bridge in the gap between sex, and understanding of sex between men and women."
Ever since Playboy.com went "safe for work" in August, Flanders said the online audience grew 400 percent. The magazine's circulation numbers have fallen to 800,000 since peaking at 5 million, but with new advertisers asking to join the nudity-free issue in March 2016, Flanders hopes to attract professional 'millenials' with more mainstream content.
Playboy's 89-year-old founder, Hugh Hefner, still makes creative decisions for the company. Flanders discussed his initial uncertainty about Hefner's reaction to the proposed changes.
"We didn't know how he would react for sure, and what we've seen is that he got it quickly," the CEO said. "This is a second opportunity for a first impression for our brand, and to make the brand more relevant to millennial males which was always his target audience."