During the last year, Google has built a 40-person group that is charged with courting agencies, trying to persuade them that their clients should buy ads on Google sites and use the search engine's tools. The Google team -- like any ad team -- is visiting agencies to show off the company's products, like video ads on YouTube and display ads from DoubleClick. Its representatives are even making regular visits to ad agencies, soliciting suggestions and fielding questions.
"We understand that maybe we haven't been the best partner over the years," said Erin Clift, the director of agency relations at Google.
Google could avoid ad agencies when it sold only search advertising, where it is dominant. But now that it has a wider set of products in more areas -- including social media and virtual reality -- it finds that it must work harder to drum up business, particularly because of the lingering hard feelings.