Rumor and word of mouth can be deadly.  It is in this case where people are drinking methanol to ward off COVID-19.  Methanol is poison, but some Iranians seem to think it is a cure-all.  The government is warning its citizens of the mistake but so far, some are not complying and they are ending up in hospitals.  The rumor apparently pairs alcohol and honey as a curative medicine, and Iranians who are not supposed to drink liquor haven’t distinguished between whiskey and methanol.  The error makes for a study of the origin and spread of rumor.  Who started it?  To whom did they talk?  Were they open about what they were doing?  How come so many believed them in spite of governmental warnings?  What persuasive messages are needed to counteract such error?  How should they be transmitted to individual citizens?  Iran’s marketers and PR practitioners should consider researching the mistake.

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