Google AdWords customers can now place sponsored local ads inside Google Earth. The new feature lets advertisers place contact details and a logo on a map marker in the 3D environment.

Google emailed customers:

“If you’ve created Local Business Ads in your AdWords accounts, they’ll now appear on Google Earth in addition to Google Maps. Advertising a hotel in Lake Louise? A neighborhood cafe in Paris? Google Earth users across the globe can zoom in on your business. Don’t forget to add a customized icon to make your ad stand out.”

Google was recently rumoured to have new features planned for Google Earth that would see it become an inhabitable Second Life-like environment.

Meanwhile, the Mountain View company is requesting some sites displaying AdSense ads join together into themed advertising groups. The so-called Custom Placement Packs would be sold to advertisers as lucrative, topic-based clusters.