Hugh Hefner bids $185m for Playboy, well at least he likes it

Veteran publisher and man-about-the-Playboy-mansion Hugh Hefner is trying to take the Playboy business private with a bid that values the boobs and bums empire at $185m.

Mind you, he does own most of it already so it’s a bit of a present to himself.

84-year old Hefner has been trying to unload the business for years as it has steadily declined as magazines generally have suffered and Playboy’s retouched all-American girls have failed to keep up with the tide of raunch sweeping the internet.

Playboy still pulls the odd celeb writer but it’s a far cry from the days when it boasted the likes of Norman Mailer as a contributor. One of the few companies to express interest in acquiring it has been the Penthouse organisation, which probably doesn’t see fine writing as part of its remit.

Well let’s hope the old boy gets his way and finds a way of invigorating the 57-year old title. Its first centrefold was Marilyn Monroe, using an old photo shoot from 1949 when she was plain Norma Jean.

A hefty dose of publishing Viagra seems to be what’s needed. Actually you could say this about the whole industry.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.