“What Kind Of Men Read Playboy?” Controversial Playboy Magazine Ads From 1958-1974
At it’s height in 1972 Playboy magazine had a circulation of over 7 million copies per month and the New Yorker was reporting that almost 25% of college men were purchasing the magazine every month. Despite running the “What Kind of Men Read Playboy?” campaign for over fifteen years Hugh Hefner was still trying to persuade advertisers that men were looking at anything but the pictures. These ads weren’t so much aimed at prospective readers but prospective advertisers.
Let’s travel from year to year, starting in 1958 and go through 1974, and take note of the different portrayals of the idealized Playboy male reader. The fashions change, but one thing always stays the same: the Playboy reader is always the object of desire for any nearby foxes.
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