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It’s Official: Iconix Bows Out of Playboy Licensing Deal; “Uncomfortable” with Their TV Content

Put this one in the mainstream really loves porn file….

Iconix Brand Group Inc is no longer looking at a potential licensing deal with Playboy Enterprises Inc and does not expect to revisit any deal in the near future, Iconix said on Tuesday.

Iconix spent several months exploring a potential deal with Playboy but walked away because “some of the businesses they were in we were uncomfortable with,” Iconix Chief Executive Neil Cole [pictured] said at the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit in New York.

Cole declined to specify what aspects of Playboy made Iconix uncomfortable, saying only that it related to television content around the world.

“Playboy is a phenomenal brand, a worldwide brand. Mr. Hefner was a pleasure,” Cole said, referring to Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. “I thought we could bring it back to the glory days.”

Media reports of Iconix’s interest in Playboy had lifted the adult publishing company’s shares. Playboy’s stock shed those gains amid reports in December that talks had faltered.

Iconix, a brand management company, agreed in April to take over the licensing of E.W. Scripps Co’s syndicated comic strips as well as rights to the Peanuts brand, in partnership with the family of cartoonist Charles Schulz.

Besides ownership of Peanuts, the joint venture that will hold the assets also will hold licensing rights to United Features Syndicate characters such as Dilbert and Fancy Nancy.

“My wife is much happier with Snoopy” than Playboy, Cole said.


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