The cause of the global rout of what are coyly called men's interest or adult magazines is obvious: printed porn cannot compete with the unlimited moving -- not to mention moaning -- pictures available gratis on the internet.
Australian version of Playboy folded in 2000 after its sales sank to an average of about 25,000 copies per issue.
That left just three of the so-called P-mags still standing: Australian Penthouse, published by Gemkilt, and ACP Magazines'
weeklies People and The Picture.
In the 1980s and 1990s these were among the most profitable magazines in the nation, with Penthouse and Playboy selling about 150,000 copies a month, The Picture up to 190,000 a week and People as many as 250,000 a
week, according to people who worked for them.
In the latest audit, for the three months to September, the mags were anorexic shadows of their former full-figured selves, with The Picture averaging sales of about 63,000 copies an issue and People
down to about 44,000.
Penthouse, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in Australia this year resigned from the audit in mid-2007 after its sales dived from 61,000 copies to 26,000 in just two years. Boxall, who is also a former Penthouse managing
editor, predicts girlie mags may well disappear altogether within a decade.
Nutter MPs have demanded tighter rules on how so-called lads mags' are displayed in shops. The front pages of sexually explicit titles such as Loaded , Nuts and Zoo should be concealed by plastic bags and placed on the
top shelf of newsagents, they said. They also suggested cinema-style age ratings should be put on the front cover.
The cross-party group of MPs called for urgent action to supposedly protect children and young people from the magazines and
downmarket tabloids such as the Daily Sport . And they said if publishers and retailers failed to act, the Government should introduce tough laws.
The display of lads' mags is governed by a voluntary code of practice drawn up by the Home
Office, the National Federation of Retail Newsagents and the Periodical Publishers Association. This recommends retailers display them well above children's eye level and away from children's titles or comics.
Labour MP Lindsay Roy and ten of his
colleagues - including former Tory minister Ann Widdecombe and ex-not-so-Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell - believe the rules are being flouted.
Roy, who represents Glenrothes in Scotland, has tabled a Commons motion to put pressure on
ministers to act. He said a review of the guidelines must consider the availability of sexually graphic publications to children and young people, the positioning of them on the shelves of retailers, the potential for concealing them in bags and
consider the question of age-rating them . His motion said young people were not emotionally equipped to deal with seeing, and reading about, sexual images.
Sir Menzies said his natural inclination was against censorship ...BUT...
it is unacceptable such material could be displayed at the eye level of a six-year-old: The photographs and headlines on the front cover are pretty lurid. The present code does not seem to be working and so it needs to be tightened up
Interesting on the topic of magazine
censorship. At the moment Category 1 softcore is restricted to adults only but can be sold in general shops. Category 2 hardcore is restricted to sex shops.
Now it seems the authorities are considering restricting softcore mags to sex shops too.
Senator BARNETT—Let us take another route. What progress has been made by the Commonwealth state and territory compliance and enforcement working party which is developing proposals to improve compliance with the
National Classification Scheme for offensive publications and films?
Helen Daniels—The working party was established following the censorship ministers meeting in April 2009. It is developing proposals to strengthen and harmonise classification
offences and penalties, reforming serial classification declarations and considering other means to regulate offensive publications including replacing the category 1 restricted and category 2 restricted classifications with a single restrictive
classification and also looking at issues of sale and display of restricted publications.
Senator BARNETT —What was the last one and can you expand on it?
Helen Daniels—It is about limiting the sale and display of restricted publications
to adult-only premises. They are some of the issues that the working party is looking at.
Playboy magazine, once among the largest-circulation magazines in the business, is cutting the circulation it guarantees advertisers to 1.5 million from 2.6 million, a 38% decrease.
The move, effective with the January issue, was reported by
Mediaweek. Theresa M. Hennessey, a Playboy spokeswoman, confirmed the reduction.
Playboy is battling declining ad revenue, which almost every magazine is grappling with. But it is also losing readers to online pornography. And mass magazines in
general are having a tough time; titles from TV Guide to Reader's Digest to Newsweek have cut their guaranteed circulation recently.
Analysts have been pressing Playboy Enterprises to consider selling its flagship magazine and focus on the more
lucrative licensing business. But executives have dismissed that idea, and Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, in particular, is known to be dedicated to the magazine.
A US nutter group is slamming 7-Eleven for choosing to stock the November issue of Playboy, which will feature cartoon character Marge Simpson on the cover.
Most American dads know the dangers that porn represents to young males, American Family Association Special Projects Director Randy Sharp said in a press release.
It's irresponsible of 7-Eleven to display porn in front of boys who pop into 7-11s for a hot dog or a Slurpee.
The Telegraph recently reported, Despite being on the front cover, Marge will not be totally bare, with the magazine only
featuring 'implied nudity.'
The move is a sign of changes to come from new CEO Scott Flanders . The Marge Simpson centerfold is obviously somewhat tongue-in-cheek, Flanders said in an interview: It had never been done, and we
thought it would be kind of hip, cool and unusual.
The vibrantly-colored by-women-for-women mag Ligerbeat is from some of the same people responsible for the feminist magazine Bust. It pays tribute to 80s-era Tiger Beat Magazine in name and design – imagine Tiger Beat, but full
of more boy bits than boy bands – and boasts All the dicks that's fit to print.
Essentially, they're sex-crazed girls objectifying boys in the name of turning the table. Hilarious good fun, tongue planted firmly in cheek, but full of what
certain girls are after all the same (full-frontal naked hipster boys, that is).
Ligerbeat is a porn magazine made for and by women who love the d and know that there is nothing sexier than humor
After 20 years fighting for the cause, The 'Pink Paper withdraws to the web. The leading newspaper of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transexual (LGBT) community, is to cease printing, dedicating itself to an online presence only.
installed editor Tris Reid-Smith says the move is a necessary response to the sharp downturn in advertising, especially in property and recruitment classifieds on which the paper has long depended. Circulation has fallen to 60,000 per month, still an
enviable figure for a specialist title. Reid-Smith hopes print production can resume once the recession is over, but does the demise of Britain's only national gay newspaper indicate a wider trend across the gay media, reflecting a decline in the demand
for single issue publications?
Reid-Smith, who also edits the Gay Times , a monthly glossy, says he doesn't believe there has been a drop in demand. Advertising has dropped off but the demand from the readers is still there. Millivres Prowler, proprietor of
The Pink Paper and Gay Times , also owns a number of gay lifestyle shops, selling books, films, clothing and jewellery: We certainly haven't noticed a decline in spending in the recession.
Leading activist Peter
Tatchell sees the demise of the Pink Paper as a blow to the liberation movement. We still need a newspaper dedicated to fighting for gay issues. The Pink Paper picks up a lot of stories that aren't covered by the national media. The brutal homophobic
murder of Michael Causer in Liverpool last year was virtually ignored by the press, which is odd because they gave extensive coverage to the racist killing of Anthony Walker in the same city. The Pink Paper is the only national newspaper dedicated to
news of importance to the LGBT community.
The Irish version of the Sunday Sport has been axed by its backer Birmingham City FC chairman David Sullivan.
We ceased publishing the Irish Weekly Sport on May 21 as a result of its continued loss-making, Andrew Fickling, chief executive
of the Sport's parent group Sports Media Group told the Sunday Independent: Sales had been declining for some months and it was felt that publishing should be ceased until we feel there is an upturn in the market in Ireland. It also allows us to
concentrate more energy on the challenges being presented to our core business in the UK.
Circulation of the Irish newspaper hit about 20,000 at its peak, although figures from Sports Media Group indicate that sales had fallen to around 3,000
12 activist objects and a photographer descended upon the two WH Smiths in London's Liverpool Street station on Friday to celebrate the third national Feminist Friday by covering the entire lads' mags displays with paper bags and slogans objecting to
the sexist portrayal of women as objects.
Object said: The reception we received from customers in the two shops was really supportive, with one woman telling us that seeing younger women actively engaged in feminist
activism and not passively accepting the sexist messages we see all around us had 'made her day'; a group of 14 year old girls really keen to discuss the impact of lads' mags on how girls and women are viewed and treated and wanting to get involved; and
many other women and men signing our petition against lads' mags being sold as part of the mainstream media.
It was good fun and empowering - a great opportunity to take a stand against the pornification of culture
and to say - women are human, stop treating us like objects!
After years in hibernation, the magazine is relaunched with the promise of fine writing.
It is, depending on your viewpoint, either filth for the middle classes or the nation's only genuinely intelligent journal of eroticism. It has been out
of the limelight for a while, but now The Erotic Review is back, aiming to push back the boundaries of censorship.
Kate Copstick, the review's new owner, is promising that fine writing will once again underpin sex and sensuality: The
Erotic Review has to be about two things, great writing, which is witty, funny, intelligent, knowledgeable, and sex.
The magazine relaunches this month, its 100th edition. It celebrates a coup in that having previously always been a
subscription-only title, it will now go on sale in Borders bookshops, soon to be followed by the Waterstone's chain, as well as in Harmony sex shops.
Copstick is determined that the relaunched magazine will be unequivocal. It will be about: Sex. Not love, not relationships. It's for people who have a genuine, visceral appreciation of sex qua sex.
Copstick, having previously written for the ER, felt it deserved to live: It needed an injection of funds, I had some put by, and so I bought it for £10,000. Jamie was muttering about having a female editor again because of the
publicity, but The Erotic Review almost drowned in oestrogen once and I'm not going to let that happen. She claimed women seldom write well about sex because they have an agenda, they complicate sex, they make layers, it's conditional. And they
lie as well. Nevertheless, there will be women writing in the relaunch edition, including Pelling and Copstick.
AVN (Adult Video News), a major trade journal for the US adult entertainment industry, announced plans to consolidate four of their six print publications into one monthly trade magazine.
We are simply acting responsibly in a tumultuous
market. This move reflects a trend of consolidation in the adult entertainment market itself, and allows us at the same time to return to our roots, explains Darren Roberts, AVN's CEO.
Paul Fishbein, AVN's President, said: The rise
of digital media, combined with a downturn economy, has definitely taken a bite out of traditional print advertising revenue, which enjoyed years of vigorous growth.
Suraya Singh wanted a classy erotica magazine that women like her would be happy to buy. Men's magazines regularly mixed aspirational and intelligent content with high-brow erotica, but women, she felt, were being left out. Which is why she decided
to quit her job and set up a magazine herself.
Next week she will launch Filament , a self-funded quarterly erotica magazine that is squarely aimed at turning women on. A glitzy launch party complete with male acrobats is planned for and
an initial print run of 5,000 copies has just rolled off the presses.
Marketed as the thinking woman's crumpet, the first issue features a semi-naked man in a praying position on its cover. Inside, artistic photoshoots of scantily clad
male models are juxtaposed next to erotic short stories and erudite articles on off-beat topics such as the merits of being a geek. And if you tire of the sex, there's always a recipe for spicy celeriac bake to keep you busy.
Finding an erotic
format that women will buy en masse remains a holy grail. Many publishers have tried to create female-friendly pornography – most have failed. The only comparable magazine on British newsstands is Scarlet , which was founded in November 2004.
All the models in the first issue were people Ms Singh approached in the street. I just asked them whether they'd be prepared to take their clothes of for a new magazine, she laughs. The first issue has avoided full-frontal nudity, but the
Full Monty is not something Filament's editor will rule out.
Daily Mail licks their lips over the chance for some lads mags bashing
Thanks to Dan:
News that that kids might get GCSEs in lads mags has got the Daily Mail's "filth" radar going. I found a fair bit of man
bashing here. The message seeming to be that male sexuality is dangerous and a threat to women.
This month, it was announced that teenagers will be allowed to study lads' mags as part of their media studies GCSE - and their exams will ask them to compare and contrast the 'style and tone' of publications such as this.
In other words, teenage boys are going to be sitting in classrooms looking at pictures of naked teenage girls and then making comments about the style and tone of the pictures.
And I wonder - how will the teenage girls in the class feel about
this? And not only that, what message will it be sending out to a generation of impressionable young boys?
Dennis Publishing will shut the UK edition of its Maxim magazine in May and take the brand online-only after 14 years of publishing. Dennis will distribute the U.S. edition of Maxim to UK subscribers and newsstands, but the June edition will be
its last in print for the British version.
Dennis doesn't mention circulation or advertising decline in its statement, but says it is bolstering the online editorial team in response to consumer demand for Maxim content online.
From explicit articles about masturbation and homosexuality to columns about My First Time, Jasad (Body) is out to shine a spotlight on Arab cultural taboos, and the glossy magazine that is already the focus of controversy.
The first issue of this quarterly publication, the brainchild of writer and poet Joumana Haddad, hit Lebanese newsstands last December. Tongues have wagged ever since about a daring venture into uncharted territory in the largely conservative and Muslim
Haddad told AFP: We need to stop treating our bodies, especially we women, as if they're something to be ashamed of. We have so many issues to deal with without having the extra weight of needing to cover our bodies.
The December issue of Jasad, which sold for $10, includes articles on self-mutilation and cannibalism. The cover story of the March issue focuses on the penis.
The magazine has predictably drawn the wrath of religious authorities and women's organizations in Lebanon who are calling for its closure on the grounds that it amounts to pornography.
We are all in favor of modernity, claimed
Aman Kabbara Shaarani, head of the Lebanese Council of Women ...BUT... this magazine, under cover of being cultural, appeals to sexual instincts. Subjects that teach our youngsters how to make love do not fit in with our moral values and civic
Shaarani said she had written to the highest religious authorities in the country as well as to Cabinet members and the censorship bureau calling for Jasad to be banned: I will not give up because there needs to be a media
watchdog for these sorts of publications. We are considering taking this before the courts.
For now Lebanese authorities appear content to let publication continue. Haddad, who is also culture editor of the well-known Lebanese daily Al-Nahar,
argues that her publication does not target minors and is sold in a sealed plastic envelope clearly marked for adults only.
The magazine's first issue - all 3,000 copies - sold out within 11 days. Sales of the second issue, printed at 4,000
copies, have so far been brisk, Haddad said. Outside Lebanon the magazine is sold by subscription only as no bookstore in the Arab world would dare stock it, she said. So far advertisers have shied away for the most part, fearing a backlash.
Arena , which billed itself as the UK's original men's magazine has been axed after 22 years of publication.
Owner Bauer Media, which also publishes FHM, said it had reluctantly decided to close the title.
International editions will continue to be printed.
Arena Homme Plus , its twice-yearly style offshoot, will also continue unaffected.
The final UK Arena issue will be the April edition on sale from March 12.
The latest ABC figures showed that circulation over the last six months of
2008 was only 17,071 actively purchased copies.
Arena was set up by Nick Logan, who created The Face . Its first copy appeared in the winter of 1986/87. It sold more than 93,000 copies in the 1990s but was overtaken by the
increasing appetite for more graphic men's magazines featuring topless women.
Brian Schofield, a contributing editor to Arena, told The Guardian: I – along with everyone else who's written for, edited and loved the magazine over the years –
can easily pinpoint the decision that set in motion the unstoppable slide to doom: the first decision to run an exposed breast.
Playboy Enterprises is open to discussions regarding the sale of the company, interim chairman and CEO Jerome Kern said.
Playboy suffered a net loss of $145.7 million in 2008, partly because of a reported $157.2 million in restructuring
costs. The company trimmed 14% of its staff in 2008, and plans more layoffs as it consolidates its online and print divisions in the coming year.
In its year-end report for 2008, Playboy reported revenue at $292.1 million, down 14% from $339.8
million in 2007.
Playboy's publishing income fell from $93.8 million to $84.5 million over the course of the year.
The company did see fourth-quarter profits from its TV programming in the U.S., recorded at $5 million. Licensing income,
which Playboy has touted as its strongest asset, was down 38%.
The Front Page Campaign based in Fife calls for newspapers and magazines which show nudity to be placed on the top shelf.
Amy King started the campaign after writing to a number of supermarkets when she saw naked photographs on the front
of newspapers displayed next to children's magazines.
She told The Press: We are just looking for a bit of respect in a public place. Some people might not accept it's harmful but they need to respect a person's right to decide whether it is
what many of us consider offensive.
The campaign focuses on freedom of choice for those who would rather go shopping without being bombarded with sexually provocative images, and promises that it is not about censorship or feminism.
King continued: We are taking action because we believe that pornography is harmful to men and women, and I personally have particular concern about the effect of, for example, The Sport on teenage boys. It's sometimes assumed that men have no
problem with sexually explicit pictures of women, but we think there are men who are uncomfortable with it.
Commenting on the issue, an Asda spokesman said as a family orientated supermarket they ensure all magazines that may be offensive are
placed in a suitable area and level.
A spokesman from Tesco said: We know these magazines are popular with some customers and are widely available in newsagents and other retailers. We're aware, however, that some people have concerns and this
is why we have moved this type of publication beyond the eyeline of children and making it more difficult for youngsters to pick them up.
Dorit Abramovitz, an Israeli fem-Nazi and some 30 feminist women and a handful of men jolted Tel Avivians awake with a protest chant: Indifferent residents of Tel Aviv: Trade in women must be prohibited.
All the women's organizations
decided to launch protests against the free distribution of pornographic magazines like Banana and Seximo in Tel Aviv, where they are handed out gratis at certain convenience stores and newsstands, says Abramovitz: The decision to
protest these magazines was taken within the framework of an ongoing campaign by the Women's International Zionist Organization, which was recently launched against pornographic advertisements that are harmful to women. The campaign will culminate on
International Women's Day on March 8, with an event in Tel Aviv, where the advertisement that has been most harmful to women in 2008 will be announced and will be awarded a mark of shame by the organization.
The nutters enter a nearby
convenience store, gathering the magazines into a black garbage bag. The activists spot pornographic DVDs, stocked at the entrance to Kiosk Tami. You are not allowed to stock this, says attorney Tami Katsbian. The convenience store proprietor
starts cursing and threatening the women. After several minutes the police decide to intervene -- not before informing the women that they are disrupting public order. The group moves on to the next kiosk, near Allenby Street, continuously dumping
magazines into the garbage bag.
The public's indifference is saddening, says Ronit Ehrenfroind- Cohen, director of the department for the status of women at WIZO. I am learning that people are not aware, that they are cynical and have
no desire to take a stand and do something. They walk by and leaf through 'Banana,' and for a moment they might actually think that this isn't okay. That's why there is no alternative but to take to the streets, initiate campaigns and promote awareness
of the issue.
The late property and pornography tycoon Paul Raymond's publishing empire, famous for adult magazines such as Men Only and Mayfair , is to be put up for sale for an estimated £10m.
Trustees to the Raymond estate have decided
that the publishing assets are a relatively small part of the overall estate and would be better off in the hands of an owner able to focus on the development of the business.
The operation owns 26 magazines, including eight of Britain's top ten
best-selling adult titles. Most of the magazines, which include Escort and Club International , are published in Britain, but a small number are also produced in America.
The business, which includes a share in a cable-television
channel, has seen its sales and profits drop in recent times in the face of competition from the internet.
Last year, it made profits of about £2m on turnover of £15m, although at its peak it was making far more. A little over a
decade ago, for example, it made profits of £21.5m on sales of £28m.
The Source, the hip-hop magazine, wants to make the sex in its pages a lot less explicit.
To that end, the magazine announced recently that it would no longer take what the co-publisher, L. Londell McMillan, calls booty ads, for porn
films, porn web sites or escort services. But those have been a mainstay for The Source — more than half the ads in the magazine at times, he said.
The Source hopes to gain more than it loses by chasing mainstream advertisers that do not
want their ads alongside the adults-only kind. That’s a serious gamble at a time when magazines are struggling, unable to hold onto the ads they have.
I realize the risk that we’re taking, said McMillan a partner at a major law
firm, Dewey & LeBouef: But I think when you have the more raunchy, seedy ads, you lose ads like financial services ads, some of the travel ads, the bigger corporate consumer ads like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, technology, high
The Source, he said, should be able to appeal to the core hip-hop audience, mostly young men, while also being something you wouldn’t mind your kids seeing.
McMillan says eliminating sex ads is no mere business
decision. Sounding, at times, less like the music’s fans than like their parents, he says he wants to transform the often raunchy image of hip-hop itself: We don’t want to just glorify the lowest-hanging fruit. There’s a lot of
people that want hip-hop but don’t want some of the filth that some of the business carries with it.