BMW bans Mail writer from Rolls-Royce launch

German car giant BMW banned Daily Mail transport editor Ray Massey from the launch of its new £250,000 Rolls-Royce after he scooped his rivals by a week with pictures and details of the luxury limousine.

The angry company withdrew its long-standing invitation to Massey to the official launch at the factory at Goodwood in West Sussex last week.

Massey said: "It was a straightforward, old-fashioned scoop using traditional journalistic endeavour. There was no press hand-out involved and I was not privy to any embargoed information. Unfortunately, BMW seems to have suffered an uncharacteristic sense of humour failure on the issue.

"I was told that my story had upset BMW bosses and motoring journalists who were due to attend the official launch. My attendance would therefore sour the mood. So my invitation was promptly withdrawn.

"But I suppose if you are going to be made the subject of a media ban, you may as well do it in style and make it the Rolls-Royce of all media bans. I shall treat the ban as a badge of honour and refuse to take it too seriously. Schadenfreude is not my style."

Rolls-Royce head of communications Graham Biggs was at another launch of the Rolls in Detroit this week and unable to comment. Also at the event was Massey. "I shall be making my presence felt at the Rolls-Royce stand," he said.

By Jean Morgan

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