Will the smallest be strongest in adland’s jungle?

March 11, 2009

Here’s a question to ponder. It might sound bizarre but stick with us…

Would you rather be an elephant or a meerkat?

A conversation with a thriving boutique agency in Dubai today made us wonder whether the laws of the jungle could apply to the Middle East’s ad industry in times of recession.

When everyone is competing to survive on dwindling resources in a relatively small environment, is it better to be big and powerful or small and nimble?

A notable number of independent agencies we’ve spoken to have reported significant business wins in recent weeks. They say – not entirely objectively, it has to be said – that clients are eager to develop closer working relationships with smaller agencies that have more time to devote to them.

Somewhat paradoxically given the economic climate, they argue that clients are willing to spend a little more to work with an independent, thereby shunning the economies of scale offered by larger and better-known counterparts.

Can small be beautiful or is bigger always better? And which will struggle most in the jungle we find ourselves in? No matter which species you represent, let us know your thoughts.