Nudity and Explicitness

From: Dan Stiffler <>, 19 Jul 2003
Subject: A-listers and Explicitness

When I posted my ten suggestions for the improvement of PLAYBOY last April, I ended with the suggestion that PLAYBOY drop its explicit nudity, returning to the standards of the 60s for the flagship magazine. While I was reluctant to make that suggestion in April (it was really the third—and most radical—of three having to do with increased market presence), since then I have given the suggestion even more thought and I am increasingly convinced that it is the direction that PLAYBOY should take.

PLAYBOY could then tell its potential advertisers (those No Fucking Way advertisers that Donna listed) that it will be returning to its 60s standards of nudity—that is, no full frontal. It could tell the distributors the same thing. I think it would be hard for advertisers and distributors to argue that a copy of a 60s PLAYBOY has no place in their plans (note that eBay allows the sale of 60s PLAYBOYs in the general category; post-70s PLAYBOYs are in the adult category).

For those who like explicit shots (and I count myself in that testosterone is apparently still pumping), there will be the behind-the-counter special editions, the cyber club, and the video lines.

From: Mark Tomlonson <>, 16 Apr 2003
Subject: changes

One element of PLAYBOY's history that I think it will be forced to carry into it's future is the nudity. It has always been what has set it apart. There were thoughful essays published in magazines all the time PLAYBOY did, but PLAYBOY had the naked women. Without naked women, PLAYBOY would be Maxim or Esquire by another name.

If Dan means going back to the standard of nudity that PLAYBOY had in the early Seventies, then I agree with him that this may be a good avenue for PLAYBOY to explore. If he means the type of nudity in an "Oil of Olay" ad, then we part company.

If there are no nudes, why increase the reproduction quality? Or emphasize the photographers? There are several top-flight art magazines that fill that role. Without nudes, how can the history be used? Why promote the Playmate?

Peggy Wilkins
Last modified: Mon Apr 5 02:32:27 CDT 2004