Marketplace (Canadian TV program)

Last updated
CBC Marketplace logo.jpg
The most recent version of the show's logo.
Also known asCBC News: Marketplace
Genre Newsmagazine
Investigative Journalism
Consumer Affairs
Presented byCharlsie Agro
David Common
Asha Tomlinson
Country of originCanada
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons49 [1]
No. of episodes500
Executive producerNelisha Vellani (executive producer)
ProducersKathleen Coughlin
Anu Singh

Greg Sadler
Jeremy Macdonald
Stephanie Matteis
Tyana Grundig
Katie Pedersen
Jenny Cowley
Caitlin Taylor
Eric Szeto<Andrew Sampson
EditorsSimon Parubchak
Aaron Taylor
Running time22 minutes
Production company Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)
Original network CBC Television
Picture format16:9 Widescreen
Audio format Stereo
Original release5 October 1972 (1972-10-05) 

CBC Marketplace is a Canadian investigative consumer program which has been broadcast on CBC Television since 1972. [2] The program investigates consumer reports on issues such as product testing, health and safety, fraudulent business practices, and also tests government and industry promises.



The program was influential in the banning of urea formaldehyde foam insulation and lawn darts in Canada, the legislation of warnings on exploding pop bottles, successful prosecution of retailers for false advertising, new standards for bottled water and drinking fountains, new regulations to make children's sleepwear less flammable, and the implementation of safer designs for children's cribs.

In recent years, the program's reporting has exposed the illegal dumping and burning of Canadian plastic recycling in Malaysia, the sale of fake university degrees to Canadian professors and social workers, and its hidden camera investigations documented hygiene issues in hospitals, misleading sales practices, and violence and neglect in long-term care homes.

Investigations have led to corporate and government changes: Google Maps launched a review of the country's locksmith listings after the identification of dozens of fake listings and reviews. Ontario's real estate board launched an investigation and review of its agents after the program documented agents breaking rules around “double-ending”.

When the program's original lab testing found dangerous levels of cadmium in jewelry sold by Ardene and Aldo, journalists travelled to China to expose how these chemicals end up on Canadian store shelves. The episode prompted an investigation by Health Canada and changes in the companies’ suppliers.

One of its most popular programs involved an international investigation tracking the people behind those annoying fake Canada Revenue scams and tech support scams. The reporting triggered “Project Octavia”, a criminal investigation by the country's top police force (RCMP). In February 2020, journalists were granted exclusive access to document the arrest of Canadian “super money mules” alleged to have been working with criminals in India to defraud Canadian victims.

Marketplace was originally hosted by Joan Watson and George Finstad. Other hosts have included Bill Paul, Harry Brown, Norma Kent, Jacquie Perrin, Christine Johnson, Erica Johnson, Jim Nunn, Tom Harrington and Wendy Mesley. The program's current hosts are David Common, Charlsie Agro and Asha Tomlinson. [3]

Early seasons of the program had a theme song, "The Consumer", which was written and performed by Stompin' Tom Connors. For several years, every episode would begin with Connors singing the song, which became a hit.


2014–2015 season

The 2014–2015 season was the 42nd season of Marketplace. [2]

1Canada's Dumbest Charge Marketplace looks at five viewer-nominated fees that Canadians find frustrating, including ATM fees, airline seat selection fees, paper bill fees, Ticketmaster fees and Bell's touch-tone fee.October 17, 2014
2Truth Behind the Trend Marketplace looks at the rise in popularity in gluten-free products and questions the science behind the popular trend diet.October 24, 2014
3Remedy or Ripoff? and Recall Rants Marketplace looks at four natural remedies to see if they live up to claims, including Cold-FX and Dr. Oz's detox cleanse diet. In a separate segment, Marketplace looks at what consumers need to know about car recalls.October 31, 2014
4Faking It Marketplace looks at how easy it is for companies to buy fake reviews and a fake reputation online. Marketplace creates a fake company and buys reviews to see how easy and convincing fake reviews can be.November 7, 2014
5Fuel Proof Marketplace looks at fuel-efficiency ratings and whether they give car buyers an accurate picture of gas mileage.November 14, 2014
6Battle of the Sexes and Busted: Lasik MD Marketplace looks at the difference between women's and men's products. [4] And Marketplace looks at how many people get the low price that Lasik MD advertises. [5] November 21, 2014
7Shot of Confusion Marketplace looks at the advice that some homeopaths give parents about "vaccine alternatives." [6] November 28, 2014
8Paws for Concern Marketplace looks at pet safety products including car harnesses for dogs and flea collars and finds out if they keep your pet, and family, safe. [7] December 5, 2014
9Repairmen Unplugged Marketplace looks at why many new appliances don't last. [8] January 9, 2015
10Juicy Secrets Marketplace looks at how "premium" orange juice is made, and if it is as fresh as many consumers think. [9] January 16, 2015
11Dispensing Danger Marketplace uses hidden camera to expose how pharmacy errors can happen, and reveals that there's little mandatory tracking of mistakes. [10] January 23, 2015
12Stash Your Cash Marketplace looks at tourism fees and other charges that consumers don't always have to pay. [11] January 30, 2015
13No Free Ride Marketplace looks at how ambulance fees vary across the country and the toll they take on patients. [12] February 6, 2015
14Food Fiction Marketplace looks at misleading healthy language on food labels. [13] February 13, 2015
15Doing Good, Feeling Bad Marketplace investigates stores that collect charity donations at checkout counters, and how much consumers can find out about where the money is going. [14] February 20, 2015
16Uneasy Money Marketplace investigates the business tactics of installment loan company Easyfinancial and how much the loans really cost consumers. [15] Marketplace also looks into collateral mortgages and if banks are telling clients what they need to know.February 27, 2015
17Dumb Charge Countdown Marketplace looks back at the five dumbest charges, as nominated and voted on by viewers. [16] March 6, 2015
18Licence to Deceive Marketplace makes up a fake children's fever remedy to show how easy it is for some products to be licensed by Health Canada as "safe and effective" with little or no evidence. [17] March 13, 2015
19Grocery Games Marketplace reveals how food manufacturers shrink packaging in ways that are sometimes difficult to spot. [18] March 20, 2015
20Gene Genie Marketplace investigates home DNA kits and finds out how much they can tell consumers about their health future. [19] April 3, 2015
21Mind Games In the special one-hour season finale, Marketplace host Tom Harrington looks at the industry around brain training games and activities that promise to help stave off cognitive decline. [20] April 10, 2015

2015–2016 season

The 2015–2016 season was the 43rd season of Marketplace. [2] It aired October 30, 2015 to April 8, 2016.

1Coffee cups , Speed limits and Nile File Marketplace investigates if Starbucks and Tim Hortons recycle paper cups from in-store recycling bins. [21] And the show looks at speed limits on Canadian highways. [22] Comedian Nile Seguin looks at oversharing on Facebook. [23] October 30, 2015
2Best before dates: How supermarkets sell you old food Marketplace talks to grocery store workers who explain how stores tamper with best before dates to extend the shelf life of products including meat, produce and baked goods. [24] November 6, 2015
3Exposed: Hidden camera and undercover investigations Marketplace looks at how and why the show uses hidden cameras to expose stories including shows on dirty hotel rooms, oil change scams and "peegate." [25] November 20, 2015
4Retail tricks Marketplace looks at how stores use behavioural psychology to get consumers to stay in stores longer and spend money on products on impulse purchases. [26] November 27, 2015
5Tow truck tricks and Flyer FailMarketplace looks at tow truck scams that target drivers who have been in an accident, and the kickbacks that some tow-truck drivers get from auto body repair shops. [27] December 4, 2015
6Sale Fail Marketplace compares the quality of products at outlet and retail stores, and looks at the "compare at" price at Winners. [28] January 8, 2016
7Toxic Jewelry Marketplace tests jewelry from popular retailers including Ardene and Aldo for the toxic heavy metal cadmium. [29] January 15, 2016
8Snack attack and Supplements Marketplace looks at nutrition labels on snack foods [30] and explains what happened to its investigation on supplements. [31] January 22, 2016
9Are you being served? and Coffee cups update Marketplace looks at whether self-service machines, such as self-checkouts, benefit customers or companies. [32] Marketplace finds out what has changed since its coffee cups investigation. [33] January 29, 2016
10Are you prepared? and Nile File Marketplace looks at flight safety demonstrations and whether they include key information that could help you in an emergency. [34] Comedian Nile Seguin turns the tables on telemarketers. [35] February 5, 2016
11Cellphone bill busters Marketplace follows three people who try to get their bill problems with major telecommunications companies fixed, and shows consumers how they can lower their bills. [36] February 12, 2016
12Tired doctors In most of Canada, medical residents can work shifts up to 30 hours. Marketplace looks at what this means for patient safety. [37] February 19, 2016
13Are we racist? In a one-hour investigation, Marketplace tests consumer racial profiling, racism in the rental housing market, and whether bystanders intervene. [38] February 26, 2016
14Restaurant dress codes Should waitresses have to dress sexy? Marketplace looks at the dress codes at popular family restaurant chains. [39] March 4, 2016
15Egg crackdown What do "ethical" egg labels actually mean? Marketplace looks at the conditions for chickens, and how that affects the nutrition of eggs you buy. [40] March 11, 2016
16Cellphone bill shock and Hospital parking update Marketplace looks at how the policy for data on some family cellphone plans can lead to big bills. [41] And an update to a story about how hospital parking really costs patients. [42] March 18, 2016
17Car theft and Tourism fee Marketplace looks at how thieves could hack into cars to break in or steal them. [43] And the tourism fee in Niagara Falls has gone up, but can consumers opt out? [44] April 1, 2016
18Trouble in the classroom Marketplace finds gaps in what parents can find out about teachers who have been disciplined, and gets records from across the country. [45] April 8, 2016

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  1. "Marketplace". CBC Media Centre.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. 1 2 3 "About the Show – Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  3. "Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  4. "Who pays more: men or women? Battle of the Sexes – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  5. "Lasik MD: How many people actually get the low advertised price? – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  6. "Vaccines: Shot of Confusion – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  7. "Pet Safety: Paws for Concern – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  8. "Faulty Appliances: Repairmen Unplugged – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  9. "Orange juice: Juicy Secrets – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  10. "Pharmacy Error: Dispensing Danger – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  11. "Money Tips: Stash Your Cash – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  12. "Ambulance Fees: No Free Ride – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  13. "Healthy food or lousy labels? Food Fiction – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  14. "Checkout Charity: Doing Good, Feeling Bad – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  15. "Easy Loans: Uneasy Money – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  16. "Dumb Charge Countdown – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  17. "Drugstore remedies: Licence to Deceive – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  18. "Shrinking products: Grocery Games – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  19. "DNA testing: Gene Genie – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  20. "Brain Training: Mind Games – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  21. "Coffee cups: Do Starbucks and Tim Hortons really recycle? – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  22. "Speed limits: Is faster safer on the highway? – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  23. "Facebook oversharing with Nile Séguin: The Nile File – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  24. "Best Before: How supermarkets sell you old food – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  25. "Hidden camera and undercover investigations: Exposed! – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  26. "Retail tricks: How stores make you spend more – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  27. "Tow truck tricks: How not to get taken after an accident – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  28. "When is a sale really a sale? Some bargains are not the real deal".
  29. "Toxic jewelry: What's in the cheap jewelry you buy – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  30. "Snack Attack: How to avoid the tricks of your treats – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  31. "Supplements: What happened with our investigation – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  32. "Are you being served? Do self-service machines benefit consumers? – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  33. "Coffee cups: Update. What's happening to your cups? – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  34. "Flight safety: Are you prepared for an emergency? – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  35. "Nile File: Turning the tables on telemarketers – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  36. "Cellphone Bill Busters: How to lower your bill – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  37. "Tired doctors: How your doctor's schedule could harm your health – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  38. "Are we racist? A special one-hour investigation – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  39. "Restaurant dress codes: Should dressing sexy be a job requirement? – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  40. "Egg crackdown: Are ethical eggs actually better? – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  41. "Cellphone Bill Shock: What you need to know about family plans – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  42. "Hospital Parking Pain Update: The real price for patients – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  43. "Car Theft: Cars are getting smarter. So are thieves – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  44. "Niagara Falls Tourism Fee: Do you have to pay it? – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  45. "Trouble in the classroom: Can you find out if your teacher has been disciplined? – Episodes – Marketplace". Retrieved 2016-06-01.