Resistance is possible
Put up March 27, 1985, near the south end of Center Street. Covered over April 12, after being up for 16 days.
Santa Cruz hosted the Miss California pageant for sixty years. Protesting sexist stereotypes, the Preying Mantis Brigade threw blood donated by raped women onto the steps of the pageant auditorium in 1985. The following year the pageant moved to San Diego.
How Was It Done?
Resistance is possible

TIA briefly stood against a tide of corporate takeover of America that continues to grow stronger today. TIA hoped their billboards could wake people out of their consumer stupor long enough to remember that they were human beings first, and that the real problems in this world needed their attention. Like the members of the original Boston Tea Party, TIA took matters into its own hands, despite the personal risk.

Truth in Advertising’s run ended when the City of Santa Cruz successfully defended its long standing suit to ban billboards. All billboards within city limits were taken down in 1986.

“There are a lot of us who will miss the work of the midnight billboard changeover artists who called themselves ‘Truth in Advertising’. They were clever guerrillas who managed to change the awful commercial billboard messages into items worth snickering at and thinking about. The mysterious marauders should realize that their work wasn’t in vain, and their message got across. Now’s the time for somebody to come out with a photographic collection of all their historic creativity.”
Bruce Bratton, Santa Cruz Express, November 29, 1984
number 12
Santa Cruz Sentinel, March 29, 1985
Santa Cruz Sentinel photo