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Playboy Launches Search For ‘Women Of 7-Eleven’

July 1, 1986 GMT

CHICAGO (AP) _ Playboy magazine, banned from the shelves of 7-Eleven stores, is searching for 12 of the chain’s most attractive female employees.

The magazine plans a ‘Women of 7-Eleven’ nude pictorial in its December issue, said Bill Paige, a spokesman for Playboy Enterprises Inc.

However, Paige added Monday, ″We don’t see it as a revenge type of thing. We would like it to be viewed as a moment of levity.″

7-Eleven’s parent company, Dallas-based Southland Corp., stopped sales of Playboy, Penthouse and Forum at 4,500 stores in April after hearing testimony before the U.S. Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography.

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Southland executives said they were swayed by claims that adult magazines like Playboy are linked to crime, violence and child abuse.

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner has sued the commission, charging that an intimidating letter sent to Southland and other magazine distributors caused the ban.

″We’ve got nothing against 7-Eleven; it’s the Meese commission we’re pointing at,″ Paige said, referring to Attorney General Edwin Meese. 7-Eleven was ″named on a blacklist by the Meese Commission. We see them as victims in this thing, too.

″We can talk ourselves blue in the face about censorship. This is just something fun.″

Jeff Cohen, Playboy’s managing photo editor, said some readers had sent letters calling for a boycott of 7-Eleven stores. ″For them, this pictorial will be something of a reunion with their favorite clerks,″ Cohen said.

Frank McKeown, Southland vice president of marketing, said he didn’t know if the company would try to stop employees from posing nude.

″We expect our employees to act in decorum on and off the job,″ McKeown said in a telephone interview from Dallas. ″I can’t begin to determine if employees are breaking our code of conduct until I’ve seen a pictorial.″

Playboy sells about 4.1 million magazines per month. 7-Eleven stores accounted for 5 percent of the 2 million magazines sold in stores, Paige said.

Hefner also has charged that government intimidation forced Thrifty Corp., People’s Drug Stores and Rite Aid Drug Stores to end Playboy sales.