Playboy bans nude pictures made passé by internet porn

Playboy bunny Sheila Levell, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and Playboy bunny Holly Madison. Picture: Contributed
Playboy bunny Sheila Levell, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and Playboy bunny Holly Madison. Picture: Contributed
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IT has been famed for its provocative images of nude women for the past 62 years, changing the face of magazine publishing with a naked centrefold of Marylin Monroe in its first edition.

But now Playboy is to stop publishing pictures of naked women, saying easy access to such images online means that they have become “passe”.

The magazine famed for its bunny girls, who have included Baywatch star Pamela Anderson and supermodel Kate Moss, aims to become “more accessible” as it enters its 63rd year, its chief content officer said.

The publication will still feature women in provocative poses, but they will no longer be fully nude, Playboy said.

Chief content officer Cory Jones, who was appointed in July, said he had last month visited Playboy founder Hugh Hefner at his Playboy mansion to raise the suggestion of removing nudes from the magazine in the future.

Nude images were removed from the publication’s website in August last year, resulting in a drop in the average age of its readers from 47 to just over 30 and a quadrupling in website traffic. “You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it’s just passe at this juncture,” he said.

He added: “Don’t get me wrong. Twelve-year-old me is very disappointed in current me. But it’s the right thing to do.”

The change is part of a redesign of the magazine, which will see a “sex-positive female” writing a sex column, as well as more coverage of art and drink.

The Playmate of the Month feature is to remain, but Mr Jones said that the pictures will be more “PG-13” and less “produced” - targeting professional men living in cities. “[It will be] a little more accessible, a little more intimate,” he said.

The magazine’s founder, 89-year-old Hefner, recognisable for his trademark red smoking jacket, agreed to the change proposed by Mr Jones.

When he created it in his kitchen in 1953, Hefner wrote that the magazine and its content would appeal to men aged 18 to 80.

The Playboy brand has been “a tastemaker, an arbiter of style and a vanguard for political, sexual and economic freedom”, according to its website.

Its bunny logo is as famous as the Nike tick and the McDonald’s golden arches, it claims.

The American edition of the magazine, which through the decades has also featured Dolly Parton, Goldie Hawn and Madonna on its cover, now operates at a loss but global copies bring in a profit.