Who was Truth in Advertising?
Put up November 26, 1980, at the corner of Cedar and Center Streets in Santa Cruz. Covered over February 1, 1981, after being up for 66 days.
These overlay letters were hand drawn, with the capital C in “Cancer” being 2½ feet tall.
How Was It Done?
Who was Truth in Advertising?

Many people made up Truth in Advertising, and they didn’t necessarily know each other. Bob Stayton, aka “William Board”, invented the method used by TIA. The first billboard was done with his housemates as a weekend project. They discovered it was so much fun that they told friends, who then told other friends, and a clandestine network developed.

No one knows how many people participated over the years. There was no roster, and no email list (there was no email back then). Since the activity was illegal, it was best not to know names. Subgroups would coalesce into a billboard project, and would draw on others in the network. The billboards pictured in this exhibit all involved Bob Stayton, who photographed the work before and after.

Santa Cruz Good Times, January 8, 1981
Cancer Good Times review
TIA exhibit sponsored by Sandstone Publishing