We work with embargos all the time in the world of journalism, and especially in car journalism. When manufacturer A invites us to drive the new such-and-such, they will set an embargo date that, in theory, will allow all the front-line titles to publish their thoughts pretty much at the same time. 

Hence the reason you’ll see a great wave of “We’ve driven it” type publicity about the new BMW M3 in May of this year, because that’s when BMW has set the embargo for driving impressions of its new uber-saloon.

Except rarely is it as simple as that. Take the new M3 as a case in point. As it stands the UK’s journalists won’t get to drive the car on this occasion until the afternoon of the date itself, which means the only way you’ll be able to read about the new M3 on its embargo date – from a UK title – will be online. 

The dear old magazines that still publish on something called paper won’t be able to publish until at least a week later, and that makes it very hard indeed for the likes of Autocar to publish anything meaningful by the following Wednesday. Which means our main magazine coverage of the new M3 will feel at least two weeks out of date when it appears in the magazine.

And that’s entirely thanks to the embargo system.