Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on May 26, 1974 · Page 92
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May 26, 1974

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 92

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Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 26, 1974
Page:
Page 92
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Page 92 article text (OCR)

r . Playboy Enterprises, -the "brainchild of-. Hugh Hefner, 49, has come upon "bad" news. Offered to the pab 7 lie in. 1970 at $23.50 a * share, Playboy's stock at this writing is selling at 5%. After 20 years, what f s happened to the Playboy empire? Pounder Hefner, who owns 72 percent of the stock and continues annually to draw $300,000 as chief executive officer, is as optimistic as ever. But Wall Street is not. It looks at the Playboy empire which consists of "PlayL :%-* and "Oui" magazines, five hotels, four gambling casinos, 17 Playboy clubs, two modeling agencies, a motion picture and TV production company, a book publishing company and book club, and it sees troubles ahead. Playboy magazine's circulation slipped 400,000 last year. The men's magazine field is clogged .with competitors, all printing nudes, Playboy's main editorial attraction in the first instance. Playboy's two attempts at motion picture production, "MacBeth" and "The Saked Ape," were both flops. . The corporation's club- hotel division is also in the red, about $3.5 million last year, with only one, the Hotel Ochos Rio in Jamaica, showing a decent profit. Most successful of the Playboy enterprises are "Playboy" magazine and the four gambling casinos the cor- .- poration runs in Great Britain, two in London,- one each in Portsmouth and' Manchester. The casinos earned $5.5 million last year. Once the "in" attraction in several cities. Playboy clubs, with their tail- wagging bunnies, are now considered passe and even sophomoric by many businessmen who used to frequent them. Several of the clubs have been moved to more fashionable districts and refurbished. T$o one is saying that the Playboy empire is in danger"of Imminent collapse. But according to security analysts, its divisions need weeding out and shoring up. Last January some 13 million Americans , one in every 16, was on the food- stamp program. Hext month approximately 17 million Americans will receive food stamps. Come July, all counties will be required to -offer the food-stamp program, at which time 50 million Americans will be eligible for food stamps on the basis of income. A subcommittee of the U.S. Joint Economic Committee recently released a report which shows that by 1976, one in every four Americans may be eligible for such aid. "Unless food prices stabilize before July 4, 1976," says Bep. Martha W. Griffiths (D., Mich.), ··an estimated 60 million Americans--more than one in four--might be eligible for food stamps at some time during the nation's bicentennial year." . If by 1976 all, eligibles obtain food stamps, the total cost of the program may zoom to $10 billion a year. · The food-stamp program has virtually become the nat i on's only universal income guarantee to needy persons. Charlie Chaplin is surely _- one of the world's most creative geniuses. At age 85 he has just finished writing in his Swiss home a new screenplay, "The Freak," which he hopes to direct next year. Chaplin last worked on a film in 1964, when in London, he directed Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren in "A Countess From Hong Kong." It was a flop. Chaplin's new film deals with a beautiful girl with wings. She is captured in South America by a scientist and then ruthlessly- exploited. Friends have suggested to the veteran comedian that he star his daughter Geraldine in. his forthcoming production. But that is one suggestion he is unlikely to adopt. "After testing a new blue fluoride gel toothpaste in the Grand Hapids- Kalamazoo market and also on the West Coast, Lever Brothers has decided to introduce "Aim" throughout the country. Aim will compete against Procter Gamble's Crest and Gleem and Colgate's M.F.P.~(mono-fluoro- phosphate). Crest currently accounts for 38 percent of the annual $350 million dentifrice market. Colgate's ·M.F.P. accounts for 24 percent. Closeup for about 10 percent, Gleem for 7 percent and Colgate's Ultra Brite for another 7 percent. Later this year two of Europe's outstanding actresses will take their London revival HAGUE SMfTM stage hits to the U.S1 Ingrid Bergman will star in Somerset Maugham's "The Constant Wife," Maggie Smith will star in 5oel Coward's "Private Lives."

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