Half of the world is racing against time to produce a vaccine that can finally stop COVID-19’s ceaseless march, while the other half watches in anxious silence – but for Naveed Raza a positive attitude, some rest, an Ertugral binge, and Johar Joshanda is a cure like no other.      

Undoubtedly, marketing departments have had a tough time cutting through the air of misery that grips the world, but we can always count on zany ad men to find a way to turn fear into profit.

How does one sell their product during a pandemic without directly saying the product is effective in combating it? The most interesting take so far in Pakistan comes from the latest Qarshi advertisement.

A TV actor – Naveed Raza – who describes himself as a COVID-19 survivor, explains his experience when he had tested positive for the virus in the short bubbly ad that ran on major TV news channels. He does not mention taking commonly prescribed medicine like Panadaol, or receiving any treatment at all, he simply says he drank Johar Joshanda, rested, and watched TV.  

While that might have been his personal experience, his case does not represent the norm. Regardless, it is certainly a clever way of promoting Johar Joshanda to a COVID-19 patient without actually saying that it is a cure for COVID-19.

Video posted on Naveed Raza’s YouTube page, which also ran as an ad on TV

For millions of people around the world, including US President Donald Trump; the biggest misconception has been that COVID-19 is just another type of flu, only to learn the horrible truth when they or their loved ones contracted the virus. The precautions and treatment necessary to survive a COVID-19 infection are vastly different from the common flu – as is the sickness itself, which has killed over 1.3 million people worldwide and left millions more with lifelong weakness.

A few symptoms of the common flu are cough, throat infection and a running nose. Naveed Raza in the advertisement mentioned that he used Johar Joshanda for all three symptoms, saying that the remedy did work for him during his quarantine – without saying it works to cure COVID-19

With this ad Naveed Raza is officially in illustrious company; he joins the pantheon of quacks who pushed untested cures during the pandemic. Donald Trump with bleach and hydroxychloroquine, India’s Baba Ramdev with his “Coronil kit”, and now Naveed Raza with Johar Joshanda and “a positive attitude”.    


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