Lindsay Lohan Playboy cover: A desperate bid for relevance?
Lindsay Lohan's Playboy cover is setting the online world afire with its first glimpse of the troubled starlet apparently naked as the day she was born. And then there's the ensuing debate about whether it will help revive her troubled career.
But perhaps the real question is whether the decision to put Lohan on the cover is a last gasp for relevancy by the aging magazine.
The cover features Lohan sitting straddling a red lacquered chair, its back in the shape of the signature Playboy bunny logo, and a headline that simply says "Lindsay."
Our sister blog, Ministry of Gossip, quotes a Lohan representative stressing that the pictorial is "very tasteful" and that the accompanying article will let readers "see another side of Lindsay." She reportedly received a payday in the $1 million range.
"The whole idea that it may revive her career? I think those days are long gone," said magazine industry expert Samir Husni. "There's more benefit to Playboy than Lindsay ... this pictorial and this publicity will put Playboy back in the public eye. Although I doubt that anything can help Playboy in this day and age."
The magazine's heyday has come and gone, said Husni, and he predicted it won't last beyond Hugh Hefner, the 85-year-old founder and publisher. It already has plenty of competition from Maxim and its ilk, and a Web world that just welcomed .xxx as its newest domain name.
"That middle ground, that thin ice they are skating on -- it's starting to melt," he said. "I really doubt it will stay afloat after Hefner." He said Playboy's target audience see Playboy as a throwback to the '60s and '70s and not in a good way.
NBC was banking on that vintage, "Mad Men" vibe when it launched "The Playboy Club" at the start of the fall TV season. It was met with blistering reviews, and yanked after just a few airings.
A call to Playboy's headquarters was not returned by the time this post was published.
-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch
Photo: Lindsay Lohan attends an April news conference. Credit: Emmanuel Dunand / AFP/Getty Images