The flurry of activity around Playboy Enterprises, owner of the eponymous magazine, illustrates the squeeze on men’s magazines and pornography in the internet era.
It also shows that Playboy is a media brand that is well past its prime.
Hugh Hefner, whose bid to take Playboy private is being challenged by FriendFinder Networks, the owner of Penthouse magazine, founded Playboy in 1953, astutely foreseeing the post-war rise of open sexuality.
Yet while some media brands such as Walt Disney have managed to update themselves for new times, Playboy – with its bunny girls and associations of the swinging sixties – is now archaic. Read more