RealTime IT News

AOL and HP Ink Co-Branding Deal

America Online Inc. and Hewlett-Packard announced today that they signed a multi-year marketing agreement.

Under terms of the deal, HP customers will be able to sign up for AOL and access the service via an AOL icon prominently located on the desktops of the new HP Pavilion PCs. AOL also said it will be one of the major Internet services features on the PCs.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Cross-promotional efforts will also include an HP icon displayed in the customized co-branded AOL service toolbar, and links to sites picked by HP, within the AOL Favorite Places folder.

With today's announcement, HP enters the co-branding-PC-icon game a bit late. In recent months, several computer makers formed Web alliances, featuring Net access services bundled with PCs, such as Compaq. HP may also be trying to boost PCs sales and appeal to Net newbies by offering an Internet-friendly PC, and going up against other Internet-capable computers, such as the popular new iMac.

"We are increasingly seeing that consumers are buying computers to go online, and this agreement indicates that HP is committed to giving consumers what they want--the most convenient and comprehensive Internet online experience in cyberspace," said Jan Brandt, President of Marketing, America Online, Inc. "This multi-year relationship with HP is a key step in reaching the new audiences who are just now buying computers to begin exploring the Internet."

"Because online access and e-mail are primary reasons for purchasing and using a home PC today, our new HP Pavilion PCs are specifically designed to help our owners get and stay connected to family and friends, as well as access entertainment and information available online," said Harry W. (Webb) McKinney, general manager of HP's Home Products Division.