In a press release on October 13, 2015 Playboy announced that it will eliminate nude imagery from its print magazine as the next step in their brand realignment strategy. The changes began last summer with a re-launch of Playboy.com as a “safe for work” website. This is the first time in their 62 year history that there will be no nudes in their publication, with the magazine redesign to debut as the March 2016 issue. Helming the overhaul is Chief Content Officer Cory Jones, and Chief Executive Officer Scott Flanders.
It is impossible to discuss this radical departure from their brand ethos without touching on the social and historical impact Playboy has made on our culture. Flanders was quick to point out that, “The political and sexual climate of 1953, the year Hugh Hefner introduced Playboy to the world, bears almost no resemblance to today. We are more free to express ourselves politically, sexually and culturally today, and that’s in large part thanks to Hef’s heroic mission to expand those freedoms.” Hefner has stated time and again that Playboy’s mission was to expose its audience to the finer things in life, including pleasure for its own sake, that they were offering a lifestyle.
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