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Playboy Goes Private Amid Declining Circulation

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Ladies and gentlemen, the news is in: Playboy is going private.

Businessweek reports:

“Hefner, 84, is offering to buy the Class A stock and Class B shares he doesn’t already own for $6.15 per share, representing an 18 percent premium over the Class B closing price of $5.20 a share on Jan. 7, the company said in a statement today. Hefner said in July he would pay $5.50 a share in cash for the stock.”

The buyout signals the end of an ongoing war between Hefner and FriendFinder Networks, owner of Penthouse, which offered to buy Playboy for $210 million last July. As is the case with most periodicals, Playboy has seen a significant drop in circulation in recent years. Bloomberg reports that last year the “magazine’s rate base, the total of newsstand and subscription sales guaranteed to advertisers, [fell] to 1.5 million from 2.6 million.”

But Hefner seems confident that he can turn the sinking ship around.

“This agreement will give us the resources and flexibility to return Playboy to its unique position and to further expand our business around the world,” he said in a statement.

Well, Mr. Hefner, if I may, a word of advice. First thing you can fix? The description of your company on Google.

Behold, the most poorly written description of a company, maybe ever:

In case you can’t read it, the caption says: “Nude girls, hot girls, naked women and sexy pics with nude girls as well as videos of hot girls posing nude or in sexy positions celebrating girls and women…”

Okay. There are two possible explanations for this repetitive, awkwardly phrased description. 1) It was actually written by the 84-year old Hugh Hefner and he happens to have gone insane, or 2) It was outsourced to some Indian SEO company that has a casual-at-best relationship with the English language.

Can you imagine if other companies adopted this kind of copywriting?  Well, we sure can!

“Burgers, fries, delicious burgers and fries with burgers as well as some lettuce in addition to burgers being eaten on buns celebrating beef and fries…”

“TVs, electronics, big TVs and electrical equipment with big TVs as well as gizmos in on-positions happily watching TV and phone…"

"Hot coffee, cold coffee, chocolate and yummy coffee as well as videos of coffee sipping on cold beverages delicious coffee yum-yum…”

Look, however you wanna do it, Mr. Hefner, fix the damn description. Because while it may seem unimportant, Playboy's respectful relationship with the English language is paramount to your business's recovery.

After all, the only reason anyone ever read the magazine in the first place was the articles. Remember?
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.