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Playboy seeks Home Depot women
Men's mag has eyes for No. 1 home improvement chain after Enron, Starbucks and Wal-Mart issues.
May 14, 2004: 8:07 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Playboy is trying to find out if the young woman who helps you find a bolt at Home Depot has something else she wants to show you.

Playboy.com says it is seeking female employees of the largest home improvement chain to "shuck their orange smocks and show their hardware."

The adult men's publication has previously run pictorials of the women of Enron, the collapsed energy trading company, of Starbucks, the No. 1 coffee chain, and of Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer.

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In 2003, Wal-Mart banned several men's titles, including FHM, Stuff and Maxim after receiving complaints from customers about their content, which sparked some debate about the retailer's power -- and ability to act as a censor -- in the marketplace.

"We knew that this would be a very provocative thing for us to do," John Thomas, editor of Playboy.com, said about the Wal-Mart photos last September, when the magazine's Web site announced the project.

"Wal-Mart has a conservative corporate image, and we knew they wouldn't be thrilled. But we're hoping that the company will be pleased once they see how fun the pictures are and how empowered the women at Wal-Mart feel."

For those employees at Home Depot interested in applying for the pictorial, Playboy.com said they can send a head shot and a full-body shot, bikini-clad or nude.

They also need to supply a copy of a government-issued ID proving they are 18 or older, and a recent pay stub to show they indeed work for Home Depot.

When contacted, Home Depot released a statement saying, "The company is aware of this invitation, but does not endorse it, support it, nor are we affiliated with it in any way."

Wal-Mart had a similar reaction last September.

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"I'm not aware that Playboy put out something like this," said Wal-Mart (WMT: Research, Estimates) spokesman Tom Williams, referring to the announcement by the magazine's Web site.

"But this is not a ballpark that Wal-Mart wants to play in."

It wasn't immediately clear what impact Playboy's announcement had on Home Depot (HD: Research, Estimates) stock.

The shares edged higher in New York Stock Exchange trading Thursday on slightly higher than average volume.  Top of page




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