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Playboy re-embraces nude models and sets about ‘rediscovering’ its place in the market

Playboy's first non-nude and the return to nude covers

Playboy Magazine has made a complete U-turn on a ruling it made almost a year ago to drop non-clothed models in an apparent push upmarket to turn the publication’s dwindling fortunes around.

The magazine’s circulation declined by a factor of ten from its height in 1972 to around a 700,000 issue circulation in 2016; the drop commenced in the late 90s, as access to scantily clad women online increased exponentially.

Back in March 2016, the magazine looked to court millennials with a non-nude revamp inaugurated with a Snapchat-themed issue, a move which looks to have had repercussions in the sales room if the brand’s latest decision, less than a year later is anything to go by. It also appears its bid to find a buyer has stalled.

Cooper Hefner, son of founder Hugh, and chief creative officer, said: “I’ll be the first to admit the way in which the magazine portrayed nudity was dated, but removing it entirely was a mistake.

“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.”

A year down the line, the 60-odd-year old brand will be hoping the venture proves successful, with it hoping to adopt social good causes to push its relevance.

Hefner concluded: “So let this stand as an introduction and a declaration that, regardless of our sexual orientation or political point of view, what we’re seeing in society has happened before and that we all agree an attack on Muslim Americans, on women’s healthcare rights, on the LGBTQ community or on the First Amendment is in fact an attack on all our rights. And we should be ready to defend those rights at all costs on the intellectual battlefield.”

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