Playboy has announced it will bring back nudity, a year after it stopped printing pictures of naked women.

The magazine, which broke taboos in the 1950s with its provocative centrefolds, dropped nudity in March 2016 in an effort to broaden its appeal online and in print.

However, its publisher has now reversed the decision and teased its March/April edition with the hashtag #NakedIsNormal.

Cooper Hefner, the magazine’s chief creative officer and son of founder Hugh Hefner, said removing nudity from Playboy was "entirely a mistake".

He said: "Nudity was never the problem because nudity isn’t a problem. Today we’re taking our identity back and reclaiming who we are."

Mr Hefner, 25, added: "It was clear my dad’s aim when launching Playboy was to promote a healthy conversation about sex while also encouraging dialogue on social, philosophical and religious opinions.

"Nonetheless, many misinterpreted that message or missed it entirely, choosing instead to focus on the magazine’s unapologetic portrayal of nudity and its revolutionary approach to sex, including conversations about the act itself."

The U-turn follows the departure of former Playboy chief executive Scott Flanders, who clashed with Cooper Hefner over the ban on fully naked pictures in the magazine.

In February 2016, Mr Hefner revealed he had been ousted from board meetings after vocally disagreeing with Mr Flanders.

"I do not agree with the decisions and direction the company is actually going in," he told Business Insider at the time.

"I was essentially asked to no longer participate in the board meetings because I didn’t agree with his vision for the company.

"You either sort of take a step back and say, ‘Ok, I’m going to let this happen’ or you try and do something about it."

As well as dropping the nudity ban, Playboy has rebranded the magazine and removed a cover strapline which read: "Entertainment for men".

The new issue features an article by actress Scarlett Byrne, who, according to Playboy, writes about "the importance of owning female sexuality and the double standards that still exist between women and men".

(c) Sky News 2017: Hefner’s Playboy magazine brings back naked women to bare all once again