ITV buys online directory firm Scoot for £3m

LONDON - ITV has moved to build its online advertising presence with the acquisition of Scoot, the business directory service, for around £3m.

The broadcaster has acquired Enable Media, the company that owns Scoot, to provide online business directory listings as part of its ITV Local service.

ITV has also appointed Mohammed Raja as the launch managing director of ITV Local, which will run as a broadband TV service. Raja has had a number of senior roles at Thomson Directories, Ask Jeeves and 192.com. He will report to Mike Fegan, the managing director of ITV Consumer.

As part of the deal with Enable, ITV will take over all of its assets, including a 60-strong salesforce and its current clients. The ITV Local service, which is currently available in the Meridian region, will roll out in London and the Central region in the first quarter of next year.

ITV plans to offer advertisers various products via ITV Local, from a straightforward online directory listing through to video broadband ads and full national broadcast advertising.

Tim Kirkman, the Enable director and former press director at Carat, will leave the company to look for new opportunities.

Jeff Henry, the managing director of ITV Consumer, said: "ITV Local is one of the three pillars of our online offering alongside ITV Broadband and Friends Reunited. The service has enjoyed great success in its trial phase and the acquisition of Scoot indicates that we are serious in our ambitions to enter the online business directory market."

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