Can self publisher compete with large publishing houses?

At  the “Frankfurter Buchmesse 2012” a high publishing representative said being interviewed, that the possibilities of self publishing are very limited. Asked for the reasons he told the reporter, that if it comes down to the core functions of a publishing house like marketing, pr etc. a professional company will always outperform a self publisher. Is he right or does he just not understand that marketing and pr is shifting in a new direction? Away from the heavy budget spender to the ones using and combining very effective all the new channels to communicate with target groups. Target groups that are  getting more specific and smaller and deciding very individual which communication channels they like to use and to be contacted with!