I just got back from Asia where I was meeting with partners – we do over $1bn of retail products with partners in China and Asia – and then we met with Coty, our fragrance partner which does over $150m a year globally. It certainly transcends.
I would say, internationally, the brand represents Americana. It represents American culture in markets that have known the brand for decades (the company is 63 years-old in America and some other countries).
When you take a step back it represents freedom of choice and freedom of expression. It represents a sexual challenge and it challenges the status quo and, in a very strange way, five years ago that might not have been as relevant. It's really remarkable how history has a way of repeating itself and so many of the conversations that were happening when my dad first started the magazine in the 1950s are happening again.
There is a major conservative motion pushing across the American political landscape and across Europe, in France and other countries. It's pretty unbelievable to see so much of the conversation that happened throughout the 50s, 60s and 70s which led to this culture and sexual revolution start to come up again.
What does the magazine stand for in the 21st Century?
The magazine is the flagship, in the sense that it started the company. We understand that. We have the most popular men's brand on social media with 44 million followers across all of our social media platforms.
The numbers of people we get to the site we would never be able to get to the publication, but what is remarkable about the magazine is that because it started the brand and the company there is an understanding that what we publish in the book is what the market talks about and that's what people talk about.
So we're thoughtful with that and we understand that, from a circulation or subscribers standpoint, the magazine is never going to be a major opportunity for us to get in front of people's faces. But we do understand that the content that we publish in the magazine and then repurpose on .com or dish out to press is what people are really interested in reading about, because it's almost like the brand bible. That's how we treat it from a content point of view from a strategy across media.