Over the past several months I’ve posted a series of questions on the Second Life forum Hotline requesting more complete guidance on the advertising of real products/services inside the SL virtual world (see earlier entry – reLink). It appears that RW advertising within Linden Lab’s Second Life simulation has a clear, green light. From the Hotline response:
A company wishing to set up a business in Second Life can purchase land in Second Life from Linden Lab (whole sims) or from Second Life residents (parcels of any size).
That company could do so directly or through an agent. In either case we would want to be sure that in fact the sales are being done with the blessing of the company (in your example Nike) and are not actually trademark violations.
I assumed this would be the response – once it finally came. Linden Lab effectively opened the door when they brought up the issue of legitimate use of corporate trademarks by residents implying that there was a valid circumstance under which this could be done. Next up: convincing RW corporate marketing that virtual world advertising makes sense and is cost-effective.