ITV has hired three new online sales managers in a bid to add some digital lustre to its flagging fortunes.

The struggling broadcaster reportedly appoined Rob Hicks, Alexis James and Fiona Stedman to a team led by online sales controller Vanessa Kent, who took to her newly created post in July.

ITV’s outlook has waned in recent months thanks to falling viewing figures and the migration of advertising spend from traditional to online media, resulting in a forecast £80m dip in year-on-year ad revenue this quarter.

Although the company bought Friends Reunited for £120m in December 2005 and has inked sponsorships with the likes of Travelex and Fosters for its World Cup and F1 sites, it has added few other web properties by which to expand its revenue base.

The new recruits, however, bring online sales experience from previous employers including Lycos, GCap and

“We are delighted to be attracting such a high calibre of new recruits with a wide array of online experience to our sales team,” Ms Kent told Brand Republic. “It’s testament to ITV’s expanding portfolio of online propositions.”

ITV is due to join the BBC next spring in launching an on-demand online media player for its nascent broadband content service.