London, March 10 : Two international monthly magazines have outlawed topless glamour girls on their covers to reverse a dramatic slump in reader numbers.
FHM and Maxim peaked at sales of 775,000 and 328,000 copies respectively in the 1990s.
However, FHM now sells 315,149 copies, while Maxim's circulation has plummeted to 78,463, as per the latest figures.
The editors of the two magazines were forced to carry out major makeovers after seeing a rise in the sales of other journals like GQ, Esquire and Men's Health.
Maxim's publishing director Simon Clark said that the fact that the new version of the magazine featured models with their bras or bikinis on was nothing less than a complete overhaul.
"We are changing the direction, core values and DNA of the Maxim brand. We have always attracted a slightly older audience, but we now feel we should deliver a more discerning and sophisticated product for them. The time is right for us to move away from the glamour girls," the Scotsman quoted him as saying.
"Instead, we will be moving towards highlighting women of substance who are sexy but are also talented. The guys will recognise them, but will not be embarrassed to be seen buying the magazine," he added.
He said that the organisation's new design was to replace exposed "nipples" with altogether more wholesome articles.
"We are changing direction to become a more service-led, advice-filled, editorial-led magazine," he said.
While Clark admitted that changing the company policy was inevitable, he insisted that the reduction in the magazine's sales were compensated by increased online readers.
"We can't expect the huge number of readers that we had in 1996 or 1997. So much has changed since then. The consumer now wants to be delivered content whenever, wherever and however. Online and in print we are in a position to deliver. Maxim is still in rude health," he said.
A spokeswoman for FHM said that the revamp had been a success with the magazine recording its first sales increase for years, albeit of just 1.1 per cent.
"FHM is now a much more rounded, accessible lifestyle magazine that celebrates women, fashion, style, gadgets, cars and entertainment. The new-look FHM will continue to evolve and further differentiate the title from other downmarket mainstream monthlies," she said.