It looks like Penthouse‘s attempt to rejuvenate its brand and pivot towards publishing broader relevant content for its audience ain’t going so well.
Mumbrella reports today that the publication’s Australian arm is being slammed by former workers and contractors, who claim they haven’t been paid for work as far back as a year ago.
Apparently, the unpaid bills total more than $50,000, which is no small figure. Pictured below: not a Penthouse contractor.
Penthouse faces similar challenges to other gentleman’s mags, like Playboy, who have dramatically reduced reach in the era of widely available free internet porn. Why would you pay Penthouse if you wanted to get your rocks off?
So they’ve toned down their more explicit photos and angled towards a more comprehensive content approach.
Maybe that’s not going to plan. Mumbrella suggests that Australian Penthouse licensee Filthy Gorgeous Pty Ltd owes more than $600,000 to various creditors, including the Australian Taxation Office.
Journalist Ben Smithurst wrote for Penthouse and said that the company is damn good at dodging phone calls and making promises about payment that they can’t keep. He told Mumbrella:
“When we do get any info, it’s repeated promises – ‘You’ll be paid next month, you’ll be paid next week, you’ll get the money tomorrow’, always smaller increments. Nothing ever happens and then it’s radio silence again, punctuated by very occasional promises to call – that never happen; no returned calls.”
Employees are also getting ripped off on superannuation – one said he hadn’t received a super payment since July 2014.
It doesn’t look good. It’s tough out there for a pimp, hey.