Playboy's "safe for work" online reinvention

Stephen Whiteside

Perhaps the best-known line about Playboy is the protest, "I read it for the articles."

But when the brand relaunched its website in August 2014, it actively embraced this principle – a decision that ultimately helped the publisher quadruple traffic levels within four months. "It's really thanks to [being] PG-13 – safe for work," Robin Zucker, Playboy's svp/digital marketing, told delegates at the ClickZ Live conference in New York.

"There is no nudity on our site … Now, there's definitely scantily-clad women in certain sections, but there's absolutely no nudity."

Playboy originally established an online presence around 20 years ago. In the more recent past, however, this vital digital asset had fallen into disrepair. "The company was taken private about four years ago, and – in the process – dramatically downsized, which also included licensing the website," said Zucker.