Grammy-winner Jon Secada is joining Merck’s bilingual “Tune into Hep C” campaign to raise awareness among Hispanics, who comprise about a third of the Americans with the hepatitis C virus. Gregg Allman and Natalie Cole are also part of the campaign, which Merck and the American Liver Foundation launched last year. Secada said his father, recently deceased, hid his HCV diagnosis for years but eventually urged his son to share his story “to help other people like him who have chronic hepatitis C but aren’t taking action.” Secada’s story is on the site HepatitisCtoca­

Avanir Pharmaceuticals launched a DTC print and digital campaign for its Nuedexta, for Pseudobulbar Affect, or PBA, which causes unpredictable outbursts of crying or laughing. Creative features matryoshka nested dolls with varied expressions and asks people with dementia, stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s, MS or ALS: “Do you cry or laugh uncontrollably?”

Spending on TV ads for prescription drugs rose 7% to $1.063 billion for the year to the third quarter of 2011, according to data Nielsen showed MM&M. Magazine spend declined 11% and newspaper spend 8% for the same period.