One occasion where advertisers did not exert editorial control

In the 1970s Philip Knightly and the Sunday Times Insight team were pursuing the story of how thalidomide, which caused severe birth defects, was marketed as morning-sickness pill.

…the Sunday Times advertising manager, Donald Barrett had warned [Sunday Times editor] Harold Evans that Distillers [who had marketed thalidomide in the UK] was the paper’s single largest advertiser, spending £600,000 a year. Then he added, ‘I know that won’t stop you and it shouldn’t.’ Immediately the Sunday Times began its campaign, Distillers cancelled all its advertising….

Quoted from A Hack’s Progress by Philip Knightley, excerpted in Tell me no lies: Investigative Journalism and its triumphs, edited by John Pilger.