View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. Archive content
February 1, 2007updated 17 May 2007 11:30am

New-look Penthouse ‘not just wall to wall grot’

By Press Gazette

Penthouse can regain the ground between lads’ mags and men’s lifestyle monthlies, according to the new editor of its relaunched UK edition. Stuart Messham said the title, now owned by Trojan Publishing, would be returning to its 60s roots, but would remain adamantly top-shelf material.

‘It’s not wall-to-wall grot – you can get that on the internet – and it’s not a men’s lifestyle title. It’s not exploiting or objectifying women but offering a sophisticated take on sexuality.’But he added: ‘There is still full frontal nudity, it is still top shelf; it’s for men fed up with lads’ mags and the pretentious men’s lifestyle titles.’The title’s turbulent history saw it most recently change hands from Q Media to Trojan, which has been on a shopping spree since its establishment last June. It bought Erotic Review, food title Fresh and men’s mag Ice magazine – where Messham was deputy editor. Messham said Penthouse would strive to recapture a Britishness typified in its early years when it was first launched by American Bob Guccione in the UK in 1965, and featured cover stars such as Twiggy.

The relaunched issue will include interviews with Howard Marks and Germaine Greer as well as its lifestyle features and nude photoshoots. The title will have an initial print run of 50,000, and will be priced £4. 75.

Messham dismissed the online proliferation of porn – which has seen the top shelf’s popularity crash – as a threat to Penthouse because they were chasing different audiences.

He described what is left on newsstands as ‘photos of women in bad trainers with their legs behind their heads”. He added: ‘Penthouse is still topical, relevant and collectable, it’s not a flash in the pan porn mag”.

Messham admitted that a stigma may be attached to the brand. ‘This is a magazine for blokes reaching for the top shelf. Why should a man of 35-45 be reading the same material as 16-18 year olds? Why should there be a stigma attached to reaching for the top shelf? Penthouse wants to break that down – it’s not like you’re picking up Readers’ Wives, Penthouse is a iconoclastic title.”

Content from our partners
MHP Group's 30 To Watch awards for young journalists open for entries
How PA Media is helping newspapers make the digital transition
Publishing on the open web is broken, how generative AI could help fix it

Email to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network