And the PR value of the initiative is undoubtedly greater than any commercial benefit; it's unlikely to be much of a new-business weapon but, by getting there first, Leo Burnett can milk the attention the presence of an ad agency in this most uncommercial of spaces will undoubtedly attract. At a stroke, it gives the agencies some cutting-edge credentials and demonstrates their digital sensibilities. And, if Second Life can live beyond its of-the-moment-ness, there's potential to make use of the e-commerce opportunities.
Right now, though, the agencies are being cautious about their plans. Second Life is not a commercial vehicle and its players will resist any crass or overt attempt by brands to hijack their game.
The two agencies will have to work hard to reassure Second Lifers that theirs is not a cynical attempt to make some quick capital from this virgin territory.