Playboy owner eyes sale following 'non-nudity' rebrand

Playboy Enterprises, the parent group of Playboy magazine, is reportedly exploring a sale which could see it fetch up to $500m. The move comes hot on the heels of the publication's 'non-nude' revamp, which was designed to bring it into the digital age.

Sources familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal that the adult entertainment empire, owned by Hugh Hefner is considering putting itself on the market.

In January, Playboy put its iconic, five-acre Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles up for sale, which apparently prompted bidders who wanted to buy the whole company to emerge, causing Playboy to explore a total buyout.

Circulation of the brand's flagship magazine, previously best known for its centrefolds and 'Playmate of the Month' features, has been struggling to attract advertisers and readers since ditching nude images last year. Readership has dropped from about 5.6 million in 1975 to around 800,000 in recent years.

The title in 2015 said that it wanted to pursue "provocative" female poses, with chief executive Scott Flanders explaining: “You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it’s just passé at this juncture.”

The Drum's US editor-at-large, Doug Zanger, went on a hunt for the first issue of the non-nude Playboy when it was initially released, you can read his review here.