As a matter of fact, yes. I was ordered to take it down. Pretty awesome of them. The community responded by launching a "Fuck Sears" campaign, "FuckSears: they forced Reddit to remove a post mocking them, presumably under threat of withdrawing advertising. Please upvote, then submit your own 'fuck Sears' post to keep the dream alive."
This revolt led to up to 15 submissions dedicated to "Fuck Sears" being upvoted to the front page of reddit[citation_needed] and a recurring "Fuck Sears" joke.
When asked for more details about the removal, spez respondedlink , "Ask me again in a couple of months" (presumably because this is when his contract with Condé Nast was finished). However, no response was ever given and the details of why and how Sears was able to get the original submission removed remains unknown to the public.
On August 6th, 2013 reddit released a blog post titled "reddit myth busters" which contained the following:
myth: reddit content is controlled by Condé Nast / Advance / old media companies / rich powerful people and manipulated to advance their interests.
reality: With the exceptions of a handful of incidents in very early years (e.g. Sears), none of reddit’s owners or investors have ever bothered to exercise influence over reddit’s operations or editorial decisions. Even reddit’s servers are controlled via an AWS account not shared with any other entity, only reddit administrators have access to it. Control of this account was also never transferred to or shared with Condé Nast during the period when they were owners of reddit.
Hinting that, yes, Sears did exercise it's influence over reddit's operations as hinted at above.