, sorry not to reply earlier! I only just stopped into this thread again.
The LEGO Community Relations Officer sent a message to a member of our staff a few days ago asking that the images of these two sets be removed.
No specific reason was given, however in the past sometimes they have asked us to take down images that were not marked Prelim/ Confidential on the basis that a new Exclusive will be officially unveiled at an upcoming Event (this is what happened with the Emerald Night and Carousel last year).
The policy at Eurobricks is not to post images marked Prelim/ Confidential and post everything else, but if LEGO asks us to take down a specific image we will do so. We do this as a matter of courtesy.
To be honest, by the time they get round to asking us the horse has bolted and the pics are usually at flickr or brickset (at the time of posting, these images are still up at brickset although Huw is often subject to takedown emails too).
Lego Exclusives are often not revealed (or not supposed to be revealed) up until the last minute. From memory we only saw pics of the Grand Emporium in February and the set was released in March. These Exclusives are outside the normal retail channels (unlike Technic sets, or ordinary product lines) so LEGO has no need to release pics or otherwise advertise the sets until it suits them to do so. This is just my conjecture but I imagine LEGO's PR department likes to maintain as strict control as they can over these set images so they make the maximum impact when they are officially released. PR departments are like that!
there is nothing to suggest these pics have been improperly leaked or 'stolen'. If they had been, they would have been marked with the Prelim/ Confidential stamp.
You are still 100% free to discuss these pics in this thread in as much detail as you like - all we ask is that you do not re-post images which, by now, you could easily find elsewhere. At some point in the future I imagine LEGO will provide proper high-res shots and an official press release for us all to enjoy in detail.