Friday, May 7, 2010

Playboy to Launch Skin-free Site, The Smoking Jacket

Coming on the heels of an announced rebound at its flagship print magazine, Playboy says it's planning to launch a new "safe for work" web site called The Smoking Jacket, according to David Kaplan at PaidContent.org. The site -- which currently is just a placeholder (see image) -- will reportedly not feature nudes or anything that would get you slapped down for viewing it at work. The goal is to attract the advertisers who won't advertise in Playboy's magazine or web site because they were scared off by joint government and Religious Right pressure starting in the Reagan administration.

What will it feature? Though Kaplan and other commentators suggest you look for ideas at competitors such as Maxim's web site, I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up being classier than those. After all, as Playboy editor and chief content officer Jimmy Jellinek made clear in a recent profile in Chicago magazine, his view of the brand is not raunch and low-class; rather, he sees it as embodying beauty and he harkens back to the magazine's heydays in the 1960s when it was a thought leader.

If that doesn't convince you, then consider this: It's called The Smoking Jacket. That suggests the classic Playboy man at home with a cigar and expensive drink and wearing, well, a smoking jacket.

Then again, I could be wrong, and maybe it'll be a poor man's TMZ. God, I hope I'm not wrong.
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