Earlier this week, Playboy Enterprises made a shocking announcement by declaring its intention to do away with nude photographs beginning in March of next year, a decision which has surely shaken to the core any dude who does not have access to a computer or is above the age of 60.
While many believe this decision to be a result of the internet and one-stop gawking, another reasonable explanation may be Playboy Enterprise’s growing brand presence in the Middle Kingdom. According The New York Times, 40% of Playboy’s revenues come from China.
For more than six decades, Playboy has been publishing pornographic content. It has ushered generations of young men into their pubescent stage of life with open arms (and legs), and its presence will be sorely missed, especially by world-traveling businessmen.
This said, it is more than a bit ironic that Playboy’s largest market is a country which will censor even the slightest bit of cleavage.
However, Playboy is not trying to sell sex in China; it is selling its logo, the infamous Playboy Bunny. Using the cute little bunny as its foundation, Playboy has built a successful apparel business, and earlier this year signed a 10-year licensing deal with Handong United to increase manufacturing and distribution of its merchandise throughout the Chinese market.
Playboy claims to have a 97% brand awareness among consumers in China, and is sold in thousands of retail stores nationwide.
If only the Chinese people knew what that innocent bunny really represents.
By Kevin Engle