'SECOND LIFE â€” a three-dimensional online society where publicity is cheap and the demographic is edgy and certainly computer-savvy â€” should be a marketer's paradise. But it turns out that plugging products is as problematic in the virtual world as it is anywhere else. At http://www.secondlife.com â€” where the cost is $6 a month for premium citizenship â€” shopping, at least for real-world products, isn't a main activity. Four years after Second Life debuted, some marketers are second-guessing the money and time they've put into it.
"There's not a compelling reason to stay," said Brian McGuinness, vice president of Aloft, a brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. that is closing its Second Life shop and donating its virtual land to the nonprofit social-networking group TakingITGlobal.'