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Nielsen Releases Top Advertising Report For First Half of 2021

3 minute read | July 2021

Sydney, 22 July 2021: The latest data released today by Nielsen Ad Intel explores the media investment across key media in Australia during the first six months of 2021. 

Over the last year, advertisers shifted their budgets and adapted their messaging to accommodate the change in consumer behaviour due to the pandemic. 


Taking a closer look at the data, the retail sector sits in the first place, with the largest share of advertising being attributed to Supermarkets, Food outlets (takeaway/restaurants) and Household furnishings. These retail sectors are a reflection of the current state of play within our country, as most states entered various forms of restrictions.

Nielsen: H1 2021 Top 20 Industry Ranking Advertising Spend

The Communications category is the second largest sector with internet content services, internet providers and mobile communications contributing significantly to the category’s overall spend. 

Financial institutions are promoting financial and business support with the big corporations showing support for small to medium businesses in three main ways; incentivising consumer spending such as campaigns to shop small, empowering and equipping business owners with training and providing additional marketing support and advice.

Rose Lopreiato, Ad Intel Commercial Lead, Nielsen, commented:  We are seeing more brands play their part in helping businesses back on their feet since the beginning of the pandemic. Importantly, this isn’t just an arena for banks and large conglomerates to play in, even smaller brands can help business owners, employees or those now unemployed in a way that is unique to them.”

For the Automotive industry, green shoots were starting to appear towards the final quarter of 2020. Sales increased compared to June last year, however global supply shortages have extended delivery waiting times and held back sales. Locally the demand for utes is on the up and globally we are seeing the demand for environmentally friendly vehicles is becoming more apparent.


Nielsen: H1 2021 Top 20 Advertiser Group/ Advertisers Ranking Ad Spend

At an advertiser group level, Harvey Norman retains its position as one of Australia’s major retail advertisers, however as expected government advertising campaigns have increased markedly and in the first half of the year this was mostly driven by the Federal Government and the Victorian Government. Whilst NSW Government has increased their visibility in the past few weeks to address the latest state restrictions, the increase in ad spend was not as notable during the first 6 months of the year.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a leading global data and analytics company that provides a holistic and objective understanding of the media industry. With offerings spanning audience measurement, audience outcomes and content, Nielsen offers its clients and partners simple solutions to complex questions and optimizes the value of their investments and growth strategies. It is the only company that can offer de-duplicated cross-media audience measurement. Audience is EverythingTM to Nielsen and its clients, and Nielsen is committed to ensuring that every voice counts.

An S&P 500 company, Nielsen offers measurement and analytics service in nearly 60 countries. Learn more at or and connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.



Sara Guainazzi