Playboy Launches ‘Safe for Work’ Site… Sort of

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Playboy (Stock Quote: PLA) is getting a makeover. This week, the famous men’s publication launched a new website billed as a “safe for work” alternative to their primary site, Playboy.com.

According to a statement from the company, the new site, TheSmokingJacket.com, will “spotlight some of the best links and funniest videos from around the Web, as well as sexy, non-nude photos from Playboy’s archives.”

Jimmy Jellinek, Playboy’s editorial director, told the Associated Press that Playboy.com had been losing traffic because readers were not allowed or just not comfortable visiting the site at work. “A lot of our audience logs on after work and we saw that we were missing a golden opportunity to reach guys when they're online the most: when they're sitting at their desk, not working, sending e-mails to their friends."

So, how does the new site compare? Well, to put it mildly, we would still suggest you think twice before spending a significant amount of time on TheSmokingJacket while at work. Sure, there may not be exposed breasts flooding the homepage, but there are still plenty of scantily-clad women on the screen. Plus, if your employers are able to read, they may not like some of the content on the site. Case in point: The very first story I saw on the page was a feature piece titled How to Get Laid at Work.

Of course, it’s also important to view this new site as part of a larger effort that the company is making to rebrand itself as more suitable for general audiences, rather than just college students. When Jellinek took over the editorial operations of the magazine last year, he stated that his goal was to turn Playboy into a publication that “occupies the political and moral high ground.” Now, by foregoing some of the raunchier content on this new web page, the company seems to be hoping that it can appeal to more of a general audience.

Unfortunately, the company may not have much time to find out if this formula works. Playboy has faced bankruptcy rumors in recent years and the company’s stock price continues to suffer. Earlier this month, Hugh Hefner, the founder of the company, made a bid to make the company private. Penthouse is reportedly also in the running. It remains to be seen if these moves will help keep the company afloat.

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