Lilly, Amylin launch Byetta awareness effort

Lilly and Amylin launched "Let’s Talk," a Byetta-branded diabetes awareness effort fronted by Boston Legal star Delta Burke. The campaign, launched at the New England Spring Flower Show in Boston on Saturday, will stop in 10 cities from now through August. MS&L is handling PR on the effort. Burke, a type 2 diabetes sufferer who uses Byetta, will put in appearances in most cities to talk about her experience with diabetes and Byetta. She will be joined by Chris Smith, who bills himself as The Diabetic Chef. Smith, who teaches workshops and classes on healthy cooking for diabetics, will prepare some of his dishes and share recipes. In addition, the tour will feature Bally Total Fitness trainer Nikki Kimbrough and certified diabetes educator Virginia Valentine. A Lilly spokesman said the tour’s content – dishing product info with a double-helping of diet and exercise tips – might be nothing new, but the choice of venues, eschewing health fairs for events with more mass-appeal, is. “We’re going to popular community events that have the highest attendance to show that type 2 diabetes is part of everyday life,” said Jamaison Schuler of Lilly PR. “The idea is living life to the fullest and then incorporating diabetes management into that activity.” Everybody might not have diabetes, he added, but almost everybody knows someone living with it. Attendees will receive unbranded recipe cards. A separate booth will offer Byetta information to those interested, and materials will advertise the campaign’s Web site, Stage and screen star Burke, who made her name on '80s sitcom Designing Women, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at age 41.