The American College of Cardiology (ACC) has developed Principles for Relationships with Industry, which serve as the organization's guide in managing our partnerships with industry in nine key areas of operation: (1) Advertising, (2) Charitable Donations, (3) Clinical Document Development, (4) Continuing Medical Education, (5) Exposition, (6) Governance, (7) Government grants and Foundation support, (8) Registries, and (9) Sponsorships.
This Advertising and Sponsorship Policy extends the relevant Principles for Relationships with Industry to implementation on the acc.org web site, with the intent of ensuring adherence to the highest ethical standards of commercial support and to determine the eligibility of products and services for commercial support on acc.org.
ACC's Principles for Advertising, as set forth in our Principles for Relationships with Industry, include the following:
- Advertising content must be easily distinguished from editorial content.
- Advertising shall not be intentionally placed or targeted to appear adjacent to editorial content that is relevant to the product or company of said advertisement.
- Advertising is subject to review, and ACC reserves the right to refuse any advertising.
- Advertising must comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
- Acceptance of advertising is not an endorsement of any product or service by ACC.
In addition to the above College-wide principles, the following policies apply to advertising on the acc.org web site:
- acc.org advertisements may appear as fixed banners or as rotating/rich media advertisements in dedicated locations throughout the web site.
- All advertisements will be marked as advertisements.
- In accordance with ACCME regulations, advertisements may not be juxtaposed with, appear in line with, appear adjacent to, or be linked to continuing medical education content.
- ACC, in its sole discretion, retains the right to discontinue posting of any advertisement previously accepted.
- ACC will not accept advertisements that, in the sole opinion of ACC, make unsubstantiated claims of therapeutic benefit for a particular product(s). ACC may require an advertiser to provide valid, reliable scientific data to support any claims made in the advertisement. In addition, ACC will not accept advertising in any form for any products or services known to be harmful to health (e.g., tobacco products).
- acc.org will not accept advertisements regarding pharmaceutical, biomaterials, or medical devices not cleared for marketing in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration.
- Advertisements on acc.org may link off-site to a commercial website, provided that the user is clearly informed with a buffer page that to proceed by clicking would mean that the user would leave the acc.org website and that acc.org does not vouch for or assume responsibility for any material contained on the website to which it links. The buffer page will display the following statement: "You are leaving acc.org. If you do not wish to leave acc.org, please click the 'return' button. ACC does not assume responsibility for content of sites external to acc.org."
- acc.org will not employ ads that automatically appear on top of or below the content the user intends to read and therefore must be deleted before or after the user views the reader's intended content (no automatic "pop-up" advertisements or ads that otherwise automatically occlude content).
- acc.org subscribers may opt-in or opt-out for special offers and promotions about carefully selected third parties' products and services that we feel may be of interest to the user. These may contain advertisements, and should clearly state in the "FROM" line that it is from email@example.com and the SUBJECT line of the e-mail that it is a "Sponsored message from [company name]".
- The acc.org Editor has final authority for approving all advertisements that are posted on the site.
ACC's Principles for Sponsorships, as set forth in the Principles for Relationships with Industry, include the following:
- ACC recognizes a sponsorship to be an arrangement with industry, a company or organization that provides financial support to ACC in exchange for value-neutral acknowledgement that neither endorses nor identifies a sponsor's products or services.
- ACC requires a written agreement with the sponsor, which reflects the purpose of the sponsorship, the amount of the sponsorship, and the agreed upon acknowledgment of the sponsorship.
- The sponsorship complies with all applicable laws and regulations from the American Medical Association (AMA), Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) Codes.
- ACC provides complete and timely disclosure of sponsor support at www.acc.org.
- Sponsorships are consistent with ACC's strategic plan and mission
- Sponsors are not involved in tactical execution of the sponsored activity.
- ACC independently determines how to acknowledge the sponsor in a value-neutral manner so as to not endorse or promote a sponsor's product or service.
In addition to the above College-wide principles, the following policies apply to sponsorships on the acc.org web site:
- Whenever possible and feasible, ACC seeks sponsorship for acc.org from a variety of supporters. It is understood, however, that occasions may arise where sole-support of a specific area of acc.org may occur. Special caution is taken to assure that in instances when single support is granted, no perception of conflict of interest exists and that acknowledgement of the support is reflected appropriately.
- All sponsored support for electronic collections of articles, acc.org content, and other types of online products will be acknowledged and clearly indicated on designated screens or via a link from the designated screen(s).
- Acknowledgement of support may link off-site to a commercial website, provided that the user is clearly informed with a buffer page that to proceed by clicking would mean that the user would leave the acc.org website and that ACC does not vouch for or assume responsibility for any material contained on the website to which it links. The buffer page will display the following statement: "You are leaving acc.org. If you do not wish to leave acc.org, please click the 'return' button. ACC does not assume responsibility for content of sites external to acc.org."