PRIMEDIA Business Magazines & Media Inc
BUFFING-UP THE BRAND
Sometimes bad things happen to good magazines. Examples abound, many too horrid to contemplate: A suddenly sour ad market deals a death blow to ambitious editorial projects several months in the making. Your Mr. Big inexplicably takes his publisher's magic to a competitor's book. A veteran editor who is like that with his readers decides this is the year he'll finally retire to a fishing village in Maine. A printing plant burns. Terrible, ulcer-inducing things, all.
But nothing that happens to - or at - a magazine can do as much harm as complacency. To avoid arthritis of the spine, books need to keep moving. The best of the breed are ever in near-manic states of self-criticism, reflection, exploration, and recalibration. (We at FOLIO: are doing all of these things at this very moment.) A magazine that fails to constantly examine its place in the world is a magazine that, sooner or later, will have no place to go but out of business. Irrelevancy, in the mag world, is death without dignity.
This month FOLIO: focuses on two great - but aging - American magazines that are self-confident enough to have looked in the mirror and then looked around the corner. Both, as it turns out, came away startled by what they saw. Our subjects, Playboy and Martha Stewart Living, are more alike than one might immediately assume. Each, after all, is obsessively devoted to a life well- (and somewhat hedonistically) lived. That's not a bad thing. (OK, maybe it is. Your call.)
Given their attention to perfection in every detail, it's no great surprise that these icons have lately taken a time-out to reconsider their core virtues. Playboy, which has hired its first new editorial director in 30 years, is about to embark on a difficult wholesale rethink. (Even the continued use of nudity is in question.) Living, which, like Playboy, has seen its territory carved up and attacked by a profusion of new titles, has just completed a redesign two years in the making. The staffs of both books, as you will see, cooperated with FOLIO: in our reporting this month, and we thank them for that.
Finally, a thought about time - specifically, about letting it pass your magazine by. Whisper what you will about Hugh Hefner's Playboy, there's no gainsaying that, for many years, it set the standard in its category. (An aside: It would be dishonest not to acknowledge that I admire Hef's giant achievement, not to mention his hospitality. As a journalist, I've been a guest any number of times at his home in Holmby Hills. Above, see an incredibly unflattering picture of us eating, most unsexily, at the Mansion.) But the reality of today's men's magazine market is harsh: Playboy committed the unforgivable sin of sauntering, rather than galloping, through the decades. The dilemma Hef & Company now face is, Can the brand's equity be reclaimed in full? Depends on who gets involved in the fixing. Allowed room to roam, it seems to me that an inventive editorial mind has a better-than-even shot at pulling a rabbit out of the hat. Playboy could get hot yet again.
Copyright ©2002 by Primedia Incorporated. All rights reserved. www.primedia.com <http://www.primedia.com>
By Cable Neuhaus, Editor-in-Chief firstname.lastname@example.org
Rethinking a Great American Magazine
By Greg Lindsay
Folio:, Nov 1, 2002
You read FOLIO: for the articles, we know, but do you still read Playboy, or even flip through it? Does anyone? Actually, 3.2 million (mostly) men do every month, and have for nearly five decades. Still, by the contemporary benchmark of magazine success - the buzz - Playboy disappeared sometime during the Carter administration (right after he confessed that lust lived in his heart).
During this absence, the lad books Maxim, FHM, and their progeny arrived from the United Kingdom and usurped Playboy's spot on the bedside tables of young bachelors everywhere. Playboy still had circ, heritage, and its centerfolds on its side, but founder Hugh Hefner's soft-core fantasies were resonating less and less with men who preferred the lad books' frat-boy humor to Playboy's limp cartoons.
So when Playboy and Hef announced in September that they had hired James Kaminsky to drag the mag into the current millennium, the publishing world smirked. Hef was raiding the ranks of his nemesis - he was stealing away the executive editor of Maxim.
Kaminsky inherits the title of editorial director from Arthur Kretchmer, a Playboy employee for 30 years, who will step down after assembling Playboy's 50th-anniversary issue in December 2003. Until then, while the pair works side by side, Kaminsky says he'll get a feel for the traditions and rhythms of the place. Only then will he begin changing the magazine. Everything from the design to the roster of writers will be evaluated and updated, Kaminsky says. Most important - and perhaps most disturbing to many of Playboy's aging hipsters - he'll rethink the way nudity is treated in the book.
This is not the first time that Playboy has flirted with newfangled ideas, but the title's weighty legacy has swallowed previous editors' best attempts. The difference this time, Kretchmer says, is "[other editors] didn't get the mandate that Jim is getting, and they didn't come in with the power that Jim has."
The mandate - to reconnect with today's readers - is a challenge not easily met, Kaminsky says. He can't go the Maxim route; it would dilute grand Hef's vision. To appease his boss, Kaminsky must do nothing short of reinventing - or at least reinterpreting - sexuality, healing a tarnished icon, and amassing a new, younger following. Hef wants the literary status of The New Yorker, but the newsstand sales of People. "I would not be doing my job correctly if [growth] did not happen," says Kaminsky, who began working for Playboy in early October.
In short, he needs some advice, and FOLIO: - along with seemingly everyone else who's ever read Playboy - is happy to give him some. Here, we offer a beginning playbook for Playboy: proposed covers from acclaimed designers; suggestions from a think tank of magazine editors; and proposals (all free of charge!) from a distinguished committee of consultants and media buyers. This is how Playboy can spin, reposition, and begin to recalibrate its business. Sexy stuff.
Any Playboy renaissance will have to begin with the design - an issue that was reiterated by everyone who was contacted for this story. And it's Kaminsky's first stop. He spent his inaugural week on the job holed up in meetings with art director Tom Staebler and photography director Gary Cole.
The magazine's current look and feel (created long before the Macintosh ushered in clean, uniform design) ages and dulls the content. The vernacular is way too scattershot, way too past tense. Readers don't trust Playboy to tell them something new because the magazine design looks so old.
The design has to go, and Kretchmer (and by extension, Hefner) is OK with it. "Illustrations that don't work can take something very contemporary and make it look as though it has been around for 15 years," Kaminsky says. "That has been a problem for Playboy. The magazine gets in its own way with the jumps. Playboy needs to become a cover-to-cover read. I think it's going to have a fast look."
The makeover Kaminsky has in mind is akin to the redesign Ed Needham (an alum of another lad title, FHM) is administering at Rolling Stone. "I'd like to see a cleaner approach," Kaminsky says, "yet busy up some of the pages, but not every page. Rolling Stone has done it in a too frenetic way." Kaminsky wants tons of sidebars, cutlines, and multiple points-of-entry - all of which define post-lad design.
Kaminsky is still coy about how the title's content needs to be invigorated. He and Kretchmer say the magazine will get smarter and hipper, but they're not saying how. They are, they say, looking to tune in to pop culture. And that, says Kretchmer, is why, after three decades in the trenches, he is leaving: "Let me put it this way: At this point in my life, I don't care who Weezer is. And that's not fair to Weezer, that's not fair to Playboy magazine." Kaminsky, however, is Weezer wise, and could probably tick off the names of the band's CDs.
And now for the big question: Will Kaminsky clothe the centerfold? Despite Hef's recent ruminations on dialing back the sex (in the magazine, not in the mansion), Kaminsky says the Playmates will continue to bear all. Hef's musings, it seems, stem more from a desire to start a buzz around a revamped magazine than mixing it up with the barely-there girls in Maxim. "Pictures of beautiful women are very important," Kaminsky says. And Kretchmer agrees. "When the nudity comes out of Playboy, it will die."
A pair of Playboy employees simply echoing Hefner's conviction? Could be. No matter: The widely held belief is that Hefner's hands-on involvement will stall or destroy the needed transformation. In that sense, Kaminsky is in an unenviable position. He freely acknowledges the potential for conflict - and failure. "I'll always be collaborating with Hef. He and Playboy are one and the same. Anyone going into my position thinking differently wouldn't last long."
Check back in a year or so to see how Playboy has changed, and whether James Kaminsky is still on the masthead.
The Designers: Hire edgier photographers
Principal Point Five Design
The Playboy I envision recaptures the magazine's founding idea of the sophisticated pursuit of pleasure. Its approach is well-rounded, intelligent, and provocative, moving beyond, but not excluding nudity and sex.
However, today's reader has a more complicated relationship with pleasure than the man of the 1950s. Not only is he overly stimulated by the sexual images offered by popular culture, but he is also aware of how the media manipulate sex to shape desire. As a result, he requires a magazine that acknowledges this manipulation. He needs a magazine that is ironic and self-conscious, and yet ultimately sexy.
My cover addresses this need by depicting a torso of a classic Playboy Playmate wearing a skintight tank top that features a painting of a nude woman touching herself. Both models (at once sexy and self-aware) invite the viewer to play the role of the voyeur, while simultaneously announcing that they themselves are being watched. This tension forces the viewer to take his pleasure self-consciously.
The simple and iconic use of the bunny logo enhances this self-referential play of images. Utilizing one of the most recognizable symbols in the world, a reinvented Playboy can reclaim its original message: pleasure.
Art director, Blue
I tried two versions of the logo, both of which update the feel. My block serif version was chosen to mimic the existing one, but I chose a face that was slightly more condensed in order to fit a larger logo. The other version is quite different; it feels more modern without the serifs. As for the cover, personally, I felt it was only appropriate to use women's body parts, as I would expect the same for Playgirl. The digitized parts are meant to leave something to the imagination, but on the stands - from a distance - they draw one in due to the obvious image. I chose to use the closeup of the woman's knee to leave an element of wonder to the reader. The current covers are far too in-your-face obvious, and I did anything to get away from the bright and sometime fluorescent colors they use.
Creative director, Surface, former creative director, Arena
I like the idea of placing the magazine in a clear bag. All of the typography would be printed on the bag so that on the magazine, basically, all you're left with is just the Playboy logo. Some of the coverlines are similar to what the FHMs of the world are doing - they're more fun. All of the hard-sell stuff is on there to say "buy me." But when you get it home, the coverlines are just disposable, bullshit information. Who needs that? Let's make each issue a coffee-table book. I think there's a lot of potential in bagged magazines. I'm one who believes that there is something alluring about what I can't open.
Editor-at-large, Time Inc.; former design director, Nerve magazine
Lots of cleaning up is needed. The key is to form a more confident identity. Right now, the bunny icon is all they have. It's a hodgepodge, randomly conjuring different eras and aesthetics. Sexy does not mean naked. Get fresher, closer, realer. I've seen so much sexier photography in celebrity and fashion mags. Pictorials need to be more like music videos: dynamic pairings of star, photographer, and concept. Let's see photographers like Dan Winters, Terry Richardson, Mary Ellen Mark, Mark Baptiste, Bettina Reihms, Mikael Jansson - good, stylistically disparate celebrity and fashion photographers, freed of constraint.
As for the subjects: more up-and-comers, fewer came-and-wenters. Deedee Pfieffer? A cover? Please! The small cartoons are an embarrassment, and the full-pagers are not a wise use of space. Think smarter, quirkier, New Yorker-level panels. More important, make a place for cutting-edge strip cartoonists like Chris Ware, Dan Clowes, and Adrian Tomaine. Develop an Annie Fannie successor. Remember On the Scene, a section in which Playboy introduced rising stars in all fields? The magazine once seemed ahead of the curve, not behind it. The Advisor is a great franchise, and it's underplayed. It should be the keystone of service coverage. Convey a sense of advocacy in service; it feels far too advertorial. Debunk conventional wisdom, focus on how to live an eclectically stylish life - music, film, shelter, travel, food, drink, clothing - but without as much reverence for big names. The interview is an icon - play it up. Add a killer full-page photograph, accompanying timeline, sidebars - anything but that endless block of italic type that fills the first page. The headshots and quotes are nice, but spread them out throughout the talk. Revive the dead-on parody. Have fun with numbers. Make sure they're everywhere - percentages, polls, pie charts, etc. But sex comes first. Frankly, too little of the magazine is about sex. Text should be personal and real, not clichéd and snickering. Some of the better sex writing in women's magazines should serve as an example.
THE FOLIO: INTERVIEW HUGH HEFNER
A candid conversation about Playboy, nudity, the competition, and one terrifically self-assured man's belief that he has changed the world forever.
At 76, Hugh Hefner insists he's still the luckiest guy on the planet. Playboy, which he created 49 years ago at his kitchen table, remains the best-selling men's magazine in the country, with 3 million paid circulation. And after nearly a half century in the bunny seat, the man known as Hef still loves his lavish lifestyle and single (again) image as the swinging granddaddio of them all. Wearing his trademark silk PJs, Hef spoke with FOLIO: contributing editor Jeffrey L. Seglin.
FOLIO: What would you do differently if you were starting Playboy today?
HEFNER: It would be a variation on the theme, but the theme would remain essentially the same. It would be a magazine for a young, urban guy. It seems clear from the success of the laddie books from England that the market is still ripe.
FOLIO: What distinguishes Playboy from the laddie books, which are read on airplanes and get front-shelf space? Why not Playboy?
HEFNER: There are still mixed feelings related to nudity. So we don't get the same display in a lot of stores that was commonplace for us in the 1960s.
FOLIO: Do you have any desire to back away from the nudity?
HEFNER: I do see an opportunity for repositioning ourselves, not removing the nudity, but stepping back a little bit from the explicit nature of the nudity and reemphasizing the other lifestyle aspects of the magazine. From the very beginning, I never perceived Playboy as a sex magazine. This is the single magazine that has changed the world in which we live and has for generations of men become a magazine that defined a rite of passage.
FOLIO: You've hired James Kaminsky. How open are you to his ideas?
HEFNER: I'm very open, but I have to say that we chose him in part because of what I see as a synergism and the fact that I think he is a natural fit. His lifetime dream has been to come to work here.
FOLIO: If you and Kaminsky can't agree on something editorially, who has the final say?
HEFNER: You must be kidding. He's working for me.
FOLIO: Do you ever see it as a liability that you're so personally identified with the Playboy brand?
HEFNER: The exact opposite is true. I carry credentials that have to do with previous generations and a connection to wanting the best of what existed.
FOLIO: What do you like about the lad books?
HEFNER: Other than the quick-hit nature of the magazines, the best thing they've got going for them is attitude in which humor is key. It's an impudent, young person's attitude. You will see in Playboy some modification in terms of shorter pieces, quicker hits.
FOLIO: How hard have you been hit by this recent advertising slump?
HEFNER: Oh, we were hit. Part of the repositioning in terms of reemphasizing the historic nature and quality of the magazine is obviously intended to woo additional advertising.
FOLIO: How do you convince skeptics that you're prepared to change?
HEFNER: This is not like Rolling Stone. We're not losing readers. We've gained readers in the last couple of years. It's a matter of marketing. It's a matter of promotion.
FOLIO: Any interest in repositioning the mag away from sex?
HEFNER: Playboy remains sexual, but is essentially a lifestyle magazine and has its own criteria in terms of the explicit nature of the sexuality. It's perfectly clear that the ones that went explicit - in other words Penthouse and Hustler - are dying. There are reasons for that. It has to do with the diversity and quality of the content. To create a sex magazine is something that would always have been easy. The trick is to combine sexuality and the natural interest in the romantic connection with the sexes in a way that makes the reader feel whole and complete and not sleazy.
FOLIO: Do you ever anticipate a time when you'll step back from the day-to-day operations of the magazine?
HEFNER: Sure. I hope it's a long way off. I'm 76, but my mother lived to be 101.
The Editors: Stop being so cliché
Former editorial director of Talk, currently developing Radar
It's so earnest about sex and about the world it covers, that a little sense of humor would go a long way, both visually and editorially. One way to immediately make the photography better is to take the models out of those predictable, corny settings - the beach, a haystack, a bathtub - and put them in interesting unexpected locales. Sitting naked next to a faux-Hasidic guy on a subway, maybe, or parachuting from an airplane or hanging from the Eiffel tower. It has to stop being so damn earnest and serious about sex. That's why it feels a little unsophisticated, because the pictures are unsophisticated.
Of course, you'd have to work out [editorial control with Hefner] beforehand. When you're charged with modernizing something, you have to make sure you have the latitude to make changes. Otherwise you destroy your own reputation and that of the magazine. You have to bear in mind that it's [Hefner's] name at the top of the masthead, but you still have to make it your own. [Hefner] may be slightly ridiculous, but he's still a baroque and compelling character. If I were at Playboy, I'd give Hef a monthly diary in which he could write about his adventures. He'd be a more macho, Viagra-ified kind of Dominick Dunne, sharing the fondness for ascots and expensive champagne but cavorting with strippers instead of socialites.
Get Heather Graham naked.
Editor-in-chief of British Esquire
Crank up the sophistication. Make it clear that this is the magazine you graduate to, after FHM, once you stop finding the smell of your own farts funny. That means really great photography and writing. It must make them sick to hear this, but use the '60s issues as the example and create a modern-day version. Playboy used to interview Henry Kissinger. They've got to interview Clinton. They've got to interview Martin Scorsese. They've got to make it current.
However, Playboy without the nudity would be insane. In the '60s, Catherine Deneuve was in Playboy. Today, Heather Graham might agree to pose with the proviso that you don't really show anything. (The lad magazines are experts at shooting nudes where you don't see anything.) But while the perception is that Playboy is under siege from Maxim. That's not the enemy. They should be competing with Vanity Fair and The New Yorker.
Rebalance the high- and lowbrow
Former editor-in-chief, Spin
The reason Playboy was successful and Esquire was successful and the revamped New Yorker [has been] is that they skillfully played high and low. You had enough highbrow features that people could feel good reading them while going for the lowbrow stuff. Playboy used to be a Robert McNamara interview next to a naked picture of Jane Fonda. Tina Brown's Vanity Fair was total celebrity porn next to articles on the origin of AIDS. That's a balancing act Playboy can recreate today, primarily because there's such an absence of magazines trying to have any influence on culture whatsoever?.I think that the sex part of the magazine has moved from revolutionary in the '50s to kind of loser-ish in the '80s and '90s, and now it's wallpaper.
Former COO, Jungle Media Group and former publisher of Esquire
Advertisers have to be persuaded that the new editor and the publisher understand what needs to be done. The key selling point has been the size, with a sales pitch that goes something like this: "You may not like it, but 3.2 million men do. You may think it's out of date, but they don't." You have to examine why certain advertisers that are in Maxim and FHM wouldn't touch Playboy. One of the things I've learned is that as big as the numbers are in the boomer segment, advertisers want young. It's pretty nonnegotiable.
Director of the Magazine Program, University of Mississippi
Here you have the number-one men's magazine caught in an electric fence that restricts circulation. The only way to change that is to change the attitude of American magazine distributors by allowing Playboy back on the newsstand. In the '80s Jerry Falwell went after Playboy and Penthouse because they were the most recognized brands. In Mississippi it was a clean sweep, and none of them are available in convenience stores. You can't get Playboy at Wal-Mart or Kroger, but you can get Maxim, Stuff, and FHM.
Media columnist, New York Magazine
I just looked at it for the first time in years, and it's exactly the same as when I last looked at it 20 years ago. It's as though the Macintosh never existed. The problem with the magazine isn't that it isn't a viable business, it's that the editorial enterprise is off the radar screen. The interesting thing is, Playboy seems to be almost in reach of coming back into the mainstream. It's cool in a retro kind of way. If this were my job, I'd be very wary of changing much. It could end up a great example of the detriments of redesign, because most redesigns end up failing.JOHN BRADY & GREG PAUL
Reposition and redesign the magazine for a more discerning reader. Playboy has no editorial voice, unless you consider the strident tone of Playboy Forum, which is still in court with sexual-freedom issues; or the self-promotional giddiness that emanates from the World of Playboy, featuring Hef and his harem. Zzzzz. Better to assume the congenial voice of the Advisor and have a little fun with sexual topics. Hire the entire staff of The Onion, and half the writing staff at "South Park." Play up the Interview more. Have one great Pulitzer-quality piece of journalism in each issue. Drop fiction.
JEFFREY S. TUCKER
Vice President, Media and Entertainment Practice, Booz Allen Hamilton
One solution would be to position the magazine as part of a portfolio and develop other magazine brands to take advantage of Playboy's brand name. This would open new ad categories for Playboy and therefore new revenue streams. The obvious play is to put a title right up against Maxim and run two titles simultaneously on the newsstand. If you position the magazines right, you can migrate readers as they advance from one title to another. Ultimately, you could potentially fold the core brand without losing the readership you already have. Of course, never underestimate the competitiveness of Felix Dennis.
Media Buyers: Get on the radar screen
Director of creative content distribution, Crispin, Porter & Bogusky
(Client Mini Cooper advertised in Playboy this year and is looking at plans for 2003.)
They have to figure out how to make the magazine feel a little more current and a little less lost in the '70s. You get a velour feeling sometimes from the magazine. The look of the book is part of it, and the attitude is another. Naked women is a decent formula up to a point, but that won't sell the magazine. It's funny, because people used to make the joke about people buying Playboy for the articles. I'm not sure people took the joke seriously enough. It always had very good editorial. For most advertisers, the problem is not that it's stuck in the '70s; the problem is the naked women. That makes Maxim or FHM more attractive: It's easier to sell. The skimpy T-shirt is the difference between getting ad pages or not.
Chairman and CEO, Optimedia
(Currently has clients advertising in Playboy.)
Perhaps the most interesting problem is the name. It connotes something that really doesn't exist to that extent anymore - it's very passé and probably works against them. Advertisers who avoid it find it offensive. I can't tell you whether it's the nudity, the position, or the connotations. Look at the proliferation of other magazines that take the portrayal of women far beyond what Playboy does, but Playboy gets hurt by association. And it gets hurt because it doesn't go far enough. It's a real dilemma for them. When you look at what they're doing in television and what Playboy Enterprises has done, it pushes the needle pretty far in terms of porn. Maybe they should keep their television shows under the name of Playboy and do something else to brand the magazine. The print product and the other products have to be more dimensionalized. They have to really think about examining the magazine in a different way than they're looking at their other assets. The portrayal of women doesn't help them in any way anymore. That is gone. They've got to tone it down considerably.
Vice president and director of planning, Horizon Media
(No clients currently advertise in Playboy.)
Their biggest stumbling block now is the emergence of books for young males, like Maxim, FHM, and Stuff, that are basically a watered-down version of Playboy, with an edgier side. Their appeal needs to be younger-focused. It's got to be more about sports and gadgets. One of their strengths has always been their literary aspect. You don't want to diminish that. But they're combating the stigma of nudity that's been attached to them. They're fighting magazines that have only scantily clad people, and for some reason, my clients don't have a problem with that. The brand needs to be refreshed, but it doesn't necessarily mean walking away from what they're about. What needs to be changed is just positioning of the magazine both to the advertisers and to the readers. They need a big communications effort.
Managing partner, director of print, Mediaedge: CIA
(No clients currently advertise in Playboy.)
People go to the magazine for specific reasons. It has a lot of heritage. That name is like Xerox or Jell-O. It's part of the lexicon of this country. But their older readership is aging, and they've got to replace them. [The magazine hasn't] evolved enough, the way it could have and should have. The magazine is not as relevant for 18- to 24-year-olds as it was 20 or 30 years ago, when men's magazines were so much more limited. The money honestly is in younger readers. Every advertiser wants to get people when they're younger, when they have lots of disposable income, when they're forming their buying habits. Playboy's pitch has always been on other categories, like electronics and fashion, but their bread and butter has always been booze and butts. Automobiles, liquor, and tobacco advertisers spend a lot of money for older, middle-aged men. But a lot of those dollars are drying up and most traditional package-good advertisers don't want to go near them because of the nudity. Their challenge is to get on the radar screen, especially of young media planners.
SVP, director of media brand planning, Foote, Cone & Belding
(Client Nivea for Men is a current Playboy advertiser.)
The issue is to contemporize the publication. In a particularly tough economy, their size and efficiency is a strength, and the key is to effectively evolve but not to radically change. They can do that through skewing the editorial toward younger fashion, lifestyle, and music. Their photography and pictorials can also be adapted for younger men, while still maintaining unique brand image. But they're in a challenging position because they have a broader reach and circulation. So although the young market is hot, they don't want to lose the value they're providing to a lot of other advertisers. There's a sense that the mission is to push the print. The company could also expand through a Playboy brand sell versus just a magazine sell. And the nudity is a double-edged sword: it attracts a wide audience, but it has limitations in terms of newsstand distribution.
CEO Carat North America
What's the brand essence of Playboy? The brand essence is sex. What is the culture of our country about? The successful products all have an element of voyeurism in them. We want to peer into other people's lives. If you can ride the current of voyeurism, you will hit regular success. What does Playboy do? It gets famous people to take off their clothes. That is the one element I wouldn't take out of the magazine. I think that is a very rich zone for it to work in - it could be the sexual Vanity Fair. I would attack the marketplace from that angle - it's a safe approach, commercially. You show me a product that attacks that piece of America, they all get traction. Hugh Hefner is a major icon of the American magazine industry. However, I think a guy in his mid 70s as an icon of the Playboy brand is not helpful. It's reinforcing that "it's my father's magazine" image. It's sad that Playboy didn't create a flanker brand. FHM should have been produced by Playboy.
- Jillian S. Ambroz and Michael Learmonth contributed to this report.
©2003, PRIMEDIA Business Magazines & Media Inc. All rights reserved.