Ogilvy N.Y.’s Berndt to Join Google

NEW YORK Ogilvy & Mather New York co-president Andy Berndt is leaving the WPP Group shop 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.

Internet giants have beefed up their creative services offerings to brands. Microsoft has gone furthest with the purchase of aQuantive, home to Avenue A/Razorfish.

Berndt’s role does not include directly working with marketers, the Google rep said.

Berndt joined Ogilvy in 1998 as a creative and worked as a group cd on IBM, Lenovo, Ameritrade and Yahoo! before becoming managing director of the New York headquarters in April 2006.

In June 2006, he was joined by Michelle Bottomley and Harvey Kipnis, then co-managing directors of OgilvyOne, as leaders of Ogilvy New York. When Kipnis shifted to chief growth officer for North America in May, Berndt and Bottomley became co-presidents of New York.

It was not immediately clear if Ogilvy would fill Berndt’s post. For now, “there is a management team leading the agency,” said a representative, referring to Bottomley and North American co-CEOs Bill Gray and Carla Hendra. Gray and Hendra told staffers about Berndt’s exit in an internal e-mail on Monday.

Berndt, who earlier in his career held account posts at Omnicom Group’s TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif., could not immediately be reached.

At Google, he will report to David Lawee, vp of marketing. Google said Berndt would begin at the company sometime in the next few months.