Playboy bunnies show off the Indian uniform. The holiday state of Goa has decided to reject a proposal for India's first Playboy club on one of its beaches following complaints that it would promote prostitution. Picture: AFP
- Playboy wants to expand into India
- Bunny uniforms changed to suit Indian "values"
- Indian politician says it will promote "vulgarity"
PLAYBOY'S business plan says it wants to open 120 clubs and bars in India by 2022. There's one problem. The Indians don't want them.
Playboy's potential expansion into India faces serious opposition. Politician Michael Lobo alleges the clubs will promote "vulgarity". He has threatened to go on a hunger strike if even one club is allowed to operate.
In a country where kissing in public is considered taboo, trying to open a Playboy bar was always going to be tough.
In preparation for the first club application, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner approved changes to the iconic bunny uniform. Bunny bottoms have been replaced with long drapes of black chiffon.
"We are clear about one thing - there will absolutely be no nudity. The bunnies will be suited to Indian sensibilities and moral values," Sanjay Gupta, CEO of Playboy Lifestyle, said in an India Times article.
Indian newspapers reported that Playboy had hired six bunnies who had arrived in India to undergo a four-week service training program.
But while Playboy has toned down its image, it wasn't enough.
They applied last week to run a beach shack in Goa. That application was a little bit cheeky.
Beach shacks can only be operated by an individual not a business.
Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar said the application had cause heated debate in parliament.
"As per the state government's shack policy, one can not approve applications in the brand name; one has to apply in his name", Mr Parulekar said. "The department found that the application by the club does not fall under the legal purview."
So the Playboy shack was rejected. Whether that has killed Playboy's Indian dream remains to be seen.