Time Warner Cable Consolidates Media at OMD

Cable Operator Has Been Changing Marketing Strategy in Face of Telco Competition

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Time Warner Cable is consolidating its in-house and regional media account at Omnicom Group's OMD, Sam Howe, the cable operator's chief marketing officer, confirmed.

Time Warner Cable has already begun moving half of its key markets under OMD's media-buying and -planning group in the first quarter; the rest will be fully phased in during the second quarter. The company had been looking to consolidate the account after two-thirds of its media had been placed by regional agencies in markets such as Atlanta and Wilmington, N.C. The other third had been handled in-house.

The cable operator spent $158.2 million on measured media in 2007, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

Mr. Howe said the cable company has been getting more strategic in its marketing spending both by individual markets and by demographics. Increased competition with Verizon Fios in key markets such as New York have prompted the company to tweak its marketing to reach a broader swath of potential subscribers, such as Hispanic households, which were up 30% on a national basis in 2008.

"We're working harder on what we already do well. Families, homeowners, people who surf the web, we want to use those [groups] to target our advertising and marketing spend," he said. "We want to fish harder in places where we're already good."

Time Warner Cable weathered a tough fourth quarter for cable subscriptions in 2008, adding 44,000 digital cable subscribers vs. 140,000 during the same period in 2007; 113,000 cable-internet subscribers vs. 189,000 in 2007; and 137,000 digital-phone subscribers vs. 180,000 in 2007.

An OMD spokesperson did not return requests for comment.

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