CBC Digital Archives

Marketplace: Sea-Monkeys revealed!

Shoddy products and shady businesses: these were the enemies of CBC-TV's Marketplace, a half-hour program that stood up for the Canadian consumer. Beginning in 1972, Stompin' Tom Connors sang the theme as hosts Joan Watson and George Finstad presented a lively parade of product tests, safety alerts and money advice. CBC Digital Archives presents full episodes from 1974 and 1975, a period when Marketplace regularly drew over 1.7 million weekly viewers.

Every kid is curious about those comic-book ads for Sea-Monkeys, the tiny but regal aquatic creatures with endlessly entertaining antics. But the "instant pets" are plain old brine shrimp, as a jaded mother reveals in this 1974 episode of CBC-TV's Marketplace. In another segment, a kindergarten teacher uses role-playing and mocked-up shops to educate her charges to be careful consumers. Also: only five of 14 baby soothers prove safe; getting the most for your dollar in juices and fruit drinks.
• As of 2008, Sea-Monkeys are still on the market. According to their website, they are "a unique species of brine shrimp" that "grow larger and live longer than any 'natural' variety of brine shrimp."

• In 1989 CBC Television took consumer education for kids one step further with Street Cents, a weekly half-hour program that aimed to help kids become more money-wise and media aware. The program aired until 2006.

Medium: Television
Program: Marketplace
Broadcast Date: May 5, 1974
Guest(s): Ada Brown, D. F. Duperon, Martin Goldfarb, Natalie MacPhee, James McGrath, Doug Mortimore, Chris Paton, Margaret Wettlaufer, Irene Zammitt
Host: George Finstad, Joan Watson
Reporter: Ruth Fremes, David McCormick
Duration: 25:41

Last updated: March 21, 2012

Page consulted on December 5, 2013

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