Both the Wall Street Journal and AdAge are reporting this morning that Google has hired Ogilvy & Mather’s Andy Berndt to run a new New York-based group it’s calling the “Creative Lab Unit.” The Wall Street Journal article says the unit “will look for more creative ways Google products can be used in marketing pitches.”
What’s really interesting is that this comes as Google’s Gadget platform has just expanded as an interesting advertising vehicle. This is exactly what Berndt is likely to be doing with other Google products and technology.
The hiring of Berndt is consistent with Google’s efforts to build up its New York ad-agency facing presence in other ways, plus leads to further speculation that rather than just wanting to work with ad agencies, Google wants to be an ad agency itself. However, a Google spokesperson told ClickZ, “We are not in any way setting up our own agency. We want to be very clear about that.”
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