Gogglebox producers were paid £315,000 by the Department for Work and Pensions for an advert promoting workplace pensions.
Families from the hit Channel 4 reality show fronted the commercial, explaining the benefits of saving for retirement.
Shadow minister Laura Pidcock said the payment was “an astonishing waste of taxpayers’ money” by Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd.
The Labour MP added: “Across the country families are struggling thanks to Universal Credit and the benefit freeze.
“They will rightly be fuming when they find out the Department for Work and Pensions are throwing away money like this, but it really does not surprise me at all.”
The DWP defended the spending, which was revealed in response to a freedom of information request, as an effective way to communicate with workers.
A spokesman said: “It’s more important than ever that Britain’s workers learn about their pension options.
“Gogglebox reaches millions of people who feel a real connection with the families on their screens. This partnership was a unique opportunity to kick-start a national conversation about pensions in living rooms across the country.”