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STV advertising slides 3%

STV'S national advertising performance was 3% down in the third quarter of this year but is expected to improve before the end of 2012.

The media company said national advertising revenue in November and December will be slightly ahead of the ITV network.

The full-year result is expected to be in line with the network according to an interim management statement, which gave an update on the period between August 24 and November 14. Regional advertising at STV is predicted to be around 3% ahead for the full year, which is in line with expectations.

Digital revenue from video on demand, display and classified advertising and online trans-actions was around 70% up.

That helped to offset the slowdown from premium rate telephone services and music rights income.

The consumer metrics of the digital business are said to be tracking in line with key performance indicators STV monitors.

The Glasgow company said it has been encouraged by recent on-screen performance but remains cautious on the outlook for 2013.

Chief executive Rob Woodward said: "We remain on track to achieve our growth targets in 2012 and continue to make strong progress in delivery of our strategy to grow non-broadcast earnings."

The STV Productions arm continued its recent strong run with a commission for ITV2 for an eight-part series called Fake Reaction.

The programme, developed with STV's United States partner Kinetic Content, will see Radio 1 presenter Matt Edmondson oversee teams of celebrities and comedians battling to stifle their natural reactions across a series of challenges.

It is due to be delivered early in 2013 and be broadcast later in the year. The latest deal follows recent STV commissions such as the 20-part Country Show Cook Off for BBC2 and the revival of game show Catchphrase for ITV1.

Mr Woodward added: "The succession of commissions secured by STV Productions from an increasing range of channels demonstrates the progress we're making in growing our content business.

"This combines with a sustained improvement in operating margins in our broadcast and digital businesses as we deepen our engagement with consumers across an increasing range of platforms."

Earlier this week ITV, headed by Bute-born Adam Crozier, suggested increased sales from its production arm had offset flat advertising revenue.

STV also announced yesterday it was improving its website using social infrastructure technology from California based Gigya.

The enhancements will allow people to register using their usernames from social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

STV said the upgrade, which is going live in 2013, will allow consumers to seamlessly share content and help drive traffic to its online offering.

Brad Evans, Gigya's director of sales in Europe, said: "By implementing Gigya's full suite of social infrastructure tech-nology, STV will be able to fully engage its users, drive site traffic and reach its users like never before."

Gigya's software is used by companies including MTV, Nike, Dell and Sony.

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