Australia's top 25 advertisers: Who splurged and who cut back in 2013?

By Lucy Clark | 21 March 2014

There were big changes in the spending amongst Australia's top advertisers last year. Automotive was a stand-out category with some car makers accelerating hard and others easing off the gas.

Most notably Holden overtook Toyota jumping from 22nd highest spending advertiser in 2012 to sixth biggest spender in 2013. It had the largest year-on-year increase in the top 25 ad spenders, at 56.3%, splashing out $74.4m.

According to Nielsen data on the top 25 advertisers in Australia last year (which covers main media spend, not sposorships or search), Toyota dropped from fifth to 15th place, cutting ad spend by 29.5%, to $59.7m.

Another stand-out spender was the Queensland Government. Despite ongoing reports of state Premier Campbell Newman's strict cutbacks, the state's government rose from 25th position to 12th, increasing spend almost 40% to $63.1m.

The top of the chart remained fairly constant year-on-year.

Wesfarmers – historically the number one advertiser in the country – retained its crown, but recorded a slight YOY decline of 2.2% with an ad spend of $237.2m.

Woolworths retained its spot as second, upping main media spend 9.3% on the previous year to $176.9m, while Harvey Norman ($141.4m) moved down to fourth spot, replaced in third by the Commonwealth Government. The government spent $158.8m on advertising across the election year according to Nielsen estimates.

Overall, Australia's advertising market held steady in 2013 – but only thanks to a sprint finish.

In June last year the market was down by 2.5% year-on-year.

For 2014, Monique Perry, head of the media industry group at Nielsen Australia, said early indications suggested "a case for optimism in advertising spend for the foreseeable future".

“Stable consumer confidence, low interest rates and low exchange rates are also expected to support the advertising sector and position it for growth.”

Perry also pointed major sports events including the Football World Cup and the Commonwealth Games as likely to boost advertising growth this year.

Read the full Top 25 Advertisers report, broken down by categories, advertiser and channel in the latest print issue of AdNews, out today. It's also available on iPad. Click here to subscribe for more news, features and opinion.

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