Time Warner Cable Taps OMD

Time Warner Cable has awarded its media planning and buying account to Omnicom’s OMD after a review, according to sources.

Other contenders included WPP’s MediaCom and Havas’ MPG, per sources.

OMD declined to comment and referred calls to the client. A TWC representative said he was unaware that a selection had been made. Client marketing officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

TWC spent $135 million in measured media in 2007, and it is on track to surpass that total this year, with a paid-media outlay of $130 million through September, 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 related services.

Up to now, the client has purchased media through its in-house unit known as Time Warner Cable Media Direct and via various local shops nationwide.

In May, parent Time Warner confirmed it was spinning off TWC as a separate publicly traded company, a transaction that was expected to close in the fourth quarter, though TW now says the timetable for completion is early 2009.

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 Island Consulting guided the media competition.

Creative duties are handled by WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather, which won the work in 2004 after a review.