Time Warner Cable Reviews Media Chores

NEW YORK Time Warner Cable is reviewing its media planning and buying account, according to sources.

TWC spent $135 million in measured media in 2007, and it’s on track to spend more this year, with a paid-media outlay exceeding $90 million through May ’08, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. (Just a few years ago, TWC’s annual ad spending was about $50 million.)

The increase may reflect the burgeoning competition between cable operators, telephone companies and satellite services to sign subscribers for video, high-speed internet, DVR and telephone services.

Up to now, the client has purchased media through its in-house unit known as Time Warner Cable Media Direct.

In May, parent Time Warner confirmed it was spinning off TWC as a completely separate publicly traded company, a transaction that is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter.

TWC is the second-largest cable system operator in the country, with more than 13.3 million basic cable subscribers. It trails top-ranked Comcast.

Mercer Consulting Group is guiding the review, per sources. Calls to the consultancy were not returned.

Contenders could not be immediately determined. The client declined comment.

Creative duties, which sources said are not in play at this time, are handled by WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather, which won the work in 2004 after a review.