Hewlett-Packard looks at signing cross-promotional deal with Island Def Jam

NEW YORK - Hewlett-Packard is reportedly in talks with Island Def Jam, home of rap artists such as Ja Rule and Jay-Z, to do a product-placement deal.

Talks at the moment do not involve Def Jam's artists appearing in advertising for the computer manufacturer, but could see its products appear in artists' songs and videos.

It is thought that a tie-up with Def Jam could add some "bling" to Hewlett-Packard's image. There are examples where brands have benefited from being featured in rappers' lyrics -- most recently Courvoisier saw sales go up when Busta Rhymes released a single about the brandy. Motorola and Cristal are other brands to have featured.

However, the company will be wary of the involvement of other big corporations with Island Def Jam's stars. Only last week, Pepsi pulled an ad featuring Ludacris, who is signed to the label, after conservative groups complained at his misogynist lyrics and songs talking about violence.

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