Sunday, May 07, 2006

Why Maxim won't show nipples. While I don't "read" men's magazines, I can't help noticing them on the rack in the supermarket. As a baby boomer, I "grew up" with (or inspite of) Playboy magzine in the '60s. I've sometimes wondered what made newcomer Maxim so popular. Now the magazine's secret has been revealed and it is - not revealing nipples. In an interesting article in Media Life, the executive editors of Maxim and its "laddie" competitor, FHM, discuss their publications' formulae. Here is part of the Q&A with the editors:
Q. When it comes to advertisers, how critical is the nipple line? Is it as critical as it used to be? Are they less concerned about crossing the nipple line?

Gregory: Very critical. As a matter of fact, GQ and Esquire have both crossed it in recent times, but we are far more respectful, and never cross it and never will. It’s the reason 18 of the 25 largest advertised brands in America have embraced Maxim.

Fields: It’s extremely important. Magazines can be sexy, but you can not cross the line. Nothing you see in FHM can’t be seen in a bathing suit spread in Vogue. There is a reason that the Detroit automotive manufacturers and the Pentagon are comfortable in the pages of FHM: no nudity, period.

Q. Is the lads craze over? Or is the category simply maturing, meaning that ad pages and circulation will remain stable? Or is it ascending? "Lad" is an outdated British word that never really translated to American culture. And Maxim does not exist because of a "craze." Maxim is based on the universal truths that define guys as guys. We deliver a mix of entertainment and service journalism, with humor and attitude, that in the end will make you a better man. These ideas are timeless; they will exist as long as our species walks the planet. They define the natural habitat of men.
Thank goodness the Pentagon is "comfortable" in lad magazines like FHM. At least they know the difference between making love and making war.


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