The Big Ad Agencies used to be afraid of Google because they didn’t understand it, the web, or the future of advertising. When all of a sudden, advertisers started pulling money out of the media budget and spending it with Google it terrified them. So they all went and bought up “new media” shops- and still created sites that didn’t work with Google any better than, well you know those braille buttons on the drive-up ATM?

So when Google starts raiding the big agencies for top talent, their worst nightmare begins to come true: the $9 billion dollar gorilla now is quietly sneaking over from media to marketing partner.

Ogilvy N.Y.’s Berndt to Join Google
Berndt, who resigned from Ogilvy this week, will become the managing director of Google Creative Lab, according to a Google representative. In the newly created position, Berndt will lead the marketing of Google’s brand and services. He will also work with agencies to integrate Google products into campaigns.

The move comes as Google looks to expand its relationships with large brand advertisers. After initially offering only simple text links overwhelmingly geared to direct-response marketers, Google has added graphical and video ads more often used by brands.

The thing is- of all the people to hire, Google picks someone from an agency that still can’t get it’s own clients spots online in a way that customers can find them. I met Andy at the 2007 AAF National Convention- nice guy, super cool presentation of the new Fanta work- but, if you went to the Ogilvy site - or the Fanta site- or anywhere- you couldn’t find the campaign except for a lone spot posted by PSYOPS who did the animation. The big agencies have a long way to go to learn how to monetize advertising that works by earned attention instead of paid placement.

Maybe, Andy will be the new evangelist for the power of Google when used right- then again, he may be working for the dark side now… depending on your viewpoint.

One things for sure, no agency will ever have a bankroll like Google.