The Lindsay Lohan PLAYBOY Controversy

On one hand, PLAYBOY Magazine is pretty unhappy that their entire Lindsay Lohan nude pictorial was leaked Online last week. After all, PLAYBOY has a $1 million dollar investment in the pictorial. On another hand, maybe the leak will only help spur interest in the issue. But, you only have to wonder why invest $1 million in Lindsay Lohan of all persons. She’s too much associated with a drunken, burnt-out lifestyle more than anything these days, and hardly seen as sexy or desirable by probably most persons. So did PLAYBOY hitch a ride to a falling star?

If the Lindsay Lohan PLAYBOY issue doesn’t sell well, it could well be for some good reasons well beyond just some Internet leak. For one thing, the pictorials weren’t nearly as hot as the PLAYBOY buzz had claimed. One PLAYBOY rep had promised full frontal photos with the issue. But, it turned out that’s not true. The fact of the matter is that the PLAYBOY photos are just about as tame as you can get, which certainly pales against some small time celebrity girls who sing in small act bands which have done hot explicit pictorials in other magazines for years, only helping spur interest in their bands and careers. PLAYBOY isn’t good porn by any standard. It’s far less explicit than almost any men’s magazine on the market. Competitors such as HUSTLER go way beyond explicit photos and show some full sexual penetration in every issue by comparison. PLAYBOY you literally read just for the articles. Their journalism is always excellent; their porn, not so.

And PLAYBOY is in a circulation funk as well. Their advertisers were promised a circulation of 2.6 million in 2010. Unfortunately, real circulation figures actually fell to 1.5 million. Lindsay Lohan’s pictoral raised the cost of publishing one issue of PLAYBOY by nearly one dollar. Is this worth it?

There might be a few reasons for this downward fall. Certainly, explicit free porn on the Internet hurts physical magazine sales. And the bad economy doesn’t help much. And PLAYBOY isn’t available on many newsstands, thanks largely to censorship groups like the American Family Association and other groups who harassed many retailers into stopping the sale of magazines like PLAYBOY. The AFA was sued under racketeering statues for interfering in the commerce of Waldenbooks and other retailers, and settled out of court for this harassment. But, many other retailers such as 7 11 quit selling PLAYBOY, caving into AFA demands, only further depressing the sales of the magazine.

With print journalism in such a circulation funk right now, you only have to ask why PLAYBOY decided to hitch their wagon to Lindsay Lohan. If your lead horse is no good, you don’t go nowhere.

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