A constant barrage of ads on both sides of the marriage equality debate might be annoying for some TV viewers.

But regional media group Prime Media (ASX:PRT) credited big spending among the yes and no camps for bolstering its bottom line in the September quarter.

“The highlight from the first quarter for 2018 has been spending by government and lobby groups in relation to the Australian Marriage Law postal survey,” Prime told investors yesterday.

Still — it wasn’t enough to stem a 19 per cent fall in advertising revenues compared to last year.

Prime shares were trading at 39c on Tuesday, down from a September peak of 50c following since-quashed rumours of an acquisition by Seven West Media (ASX:SWM).

Higher spending on marriage equality and AFL ads were offset by a reduction in gambling ads.

“Prime’s total regional advertising revenues were 7.7 per cent below our expectations for the first quarter.

“National advertisers continue to be cautious with their regional TV investments, while regionally-based advertisers are influenced by localised economic conditions.

“The year-to-date declines in Prime’s key regional advertising markets highlight what is proving to be a difficult and short market.”

Last year’s Rio Olympics helped to improve their earnings last year and the company was hopeful the 2018 Winter Olympics and Commonwealth Games might have the same effect.

Prime’s market cap is about $143 million.