Singer Iryna Dorofeeva jumps in surprise after seeing her face on a poster

Her face will substitute “filthy French models”on the country’s billboards.

The billboards with the face of pop-singer Iryna Darafeeva represent a so called social advertising alike traffic rules or iodized salt ads. Social advertising implies that it must be posted free of charge by advertising companies following an order from the Minsk city authorities.

More and more Darafeeva’s billboards pop up at the main thoroughfares and major exits from the Belarusian capital ahead of the Independence Day. The companies that own billboards receive the lists of streets and the time schedule for installing these outdoor ads. Iryna Darafeeva says she has done nothing specifically for this promotion, but she feels pleased to be together with the country.

Iryna Darafeeva: “Yesterday I saw only one poster in a shop and even jumped in surprise. Of course, it feels good. I only want them to look good and decent because we have big holidays like Independence Day and City Day coming up.

It feels good to be together with your country. I did not do much for those billboards: just some photos from my CD and my video… The Ministry of Information simply proposed that the face of Iryna Darafeeva appear on these posters.”

The total number of those billboards is a big secret. Neither the Minsk city hall nor the major outdoor advertising companies refused to reveal this information to the European Radio for Belarus.

“We will not reveal this information. You need to write a formal request or even better ask Iryna Darafeeva directly. Have you called the ideology department? They must possess this information, because this issue was coordinated with them. This information is not for public dissemination. We are simply following the orders,” an official from the Minsk City Hall responsible for advertising in the city told our radio.

Belarusian companies that wish to install their advertising near the main thoroughfare have to pay around $300 per month. Under the Law on Advertising, social ads must occupy 5 percent of the total advertising amount. The Belarusian companies say it is sometimes 5-10 percent, often due to unexpected orders and often (normally in August) due to the low demand for commercial ads.