Bayer Diabetes Care enlists teen star for product launch

TARRYTOWN, NY: Bayer Healthcare opened the consumer launch of its upgraded blood glucose meter, the Contour, with a youth-friendly spokesman for its diabetes division: Nick Jonas, part of the teen band Jonas Brothers.

TARRYTOWN, NY: Bayer Healthcare opened the consumer launch of its upgraded blood glucose meter, the Contour, with a youth-friendly spokesman for its diabetes division: Nick Jonas, part of the teen band Jonas Brothers.

The 15-year-old Jonas, who was diagnosed with diabetes at age 13, will be a spokesman for Bayer Diabetes Care. He will maintain a blog at www.nickssimplewins.com, a site launched by Bayer Diabetes that includes information about how Jonas cares for his diabetes.

Viewers can download the song "A Little Bit Longer," which is about Jonas' experience with the disorder. For every download through August 21, Bayer will donate 10 cents to the Jonas Brothers' Change for the Children foundation, up to $25,000.

It's the first time that Bayer Diabetes Care has used a teen, or a celebrity, as a spokesperson, according to Staci Gouveia, manager of global communications for the division.

"Nick's a great role model... He's a young person who has diabetes, who is very active," she said, adding that it's important for children to understand they aren't alone when diagnosed with diabetes.

Although Jonas helps the company talk to a younger demographic, the meter is aimed at making diabetes easier for people of all ages, the company said.

New York-based Manning Selvage & Lee, AOR for the diabetes division since 2006, provided support for the ongoing effort.

"The major message is to simplify your life," said Erin Ortiz, VP, MS&L Global Health, of the Jonas effort.

Media outreach focused on health and entertainment outlets, she said, with reporters from Entertainment Tonight, MTV, Extra, People, Us Weekly, Tiger Beat, and Seventeen attending the event. Targeted media included consumer health titles and diabetes outlets, as well.

The new version of the Contour, an upgrade from a 2006 version, premiered to healthcare professionals at an American Diabetes Association event in June. Consumer efforts, however, did not begin until the week of August 6, Ortiz said.

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