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ESC Media and Embargo Policy for Media Representatives

Guidelines and regulations for Media Representatives

Last update 2 April 2022

1. Introduction

This document is for media outlets, journalists and members of the press including, but not limited to, reporters for print, broadcast, and online media outlets (hereunder “Media Representatives”).

There is a separate document which is specifically applicable to third parties (scientists, authors, researchers, organisations, companies, sponsors, presenters, exhibitors and their representatives or any other party acting on their behalf). 

Embargo is a requirement set by the European Society of Cardiology (“ESC”) that the information or news provided by the ESC is not published or disseminated until a certain date or certain conditions have been met.

Media Representatives are required to abide by the ESC Media and Embargo Policy (hereunder “the Policy”) and the related confidentiality obligation, with the aim of ensuring that no embargoed scientific information is released prior to the ESC embargo lift. This applies also to open newsletters, blogs and posts on social media.

The ESC believes that the Policy serves media outlets, scientists, authors, third party organisations and the public. It enables Media Representatives to be made aware of scientific materials ahead of presentation at an ESC event or publication within an ESC journal, so that they can thoroughly prepare for its release to coincide with the event or publication date/time. This helps to significantly reduce inaccuracies and prevents any unfair advantage.

All scientific presentations at an ESC event, including unpublished results presented in “Hot Lines”, “Basic and Translational Science”, “Clinical Trial Updates”, “Registry Updates” and other session types - whether scheduled for oral presentation, poster, or in other forms - are embargoed until the scheduled start time of the presentation or the publication of a press release by the ESC.

ESC may release abstract text and ePosters prior to the scheduled session, in such a case the embargo is lifted at the time of this release.

Violation of the Policy may lead to immediate revocation of press credentials as well as denial of access to embargoed information and to ESC events.

2. ESC Media and Embargo Policy for Media Representatives

A. Press accreditation and registration

Media Representatives may apply for a two-year press accreditation.

By default, media accreditation is not available to industry employees, public relations companies, event coordinators, nor to media outlet managers, marketing, sales, or communications representatives, even if they have a valid press card, because to be eligible for accreditation, Media Representatives must be directly involved in the creation of news content for media outlets.

Media Representatives may apply for Press accredition online, upon submission of a valid press card (or appropriate letter of assignment) plus three recently published by-lined articles. Please note that business cards or membership cards are not accepted as credentials.

Accredited Media Representatives benefit from the following services:

  • Access to embargoed press materials.
  • Complimentary access to ESC events.
  • Complimentary access to ESC publications (upon request to the Press Office).

Please note that press registration is only available to accredited Media Representatives.

Only accredited Media Representatives can access embargoed information and it is strictly forbidden to share credentials and passwords with third parties.

The ESC Press Office reserves the right to deny accreditation if the applicant does not satisfy the required criteria, if the application lacks the requested supporting documents, or for any other reasonsThe decision of the ESC Press Office is final regarding all press accreditation requests.

B. Embargo

By accepting ESC embargoed information, Media Representatives acknowledge that the embargoed content is for their use in preparing media coverage and that they will not distribute or publish the information whilst the embargo is in effect.

Embargoed information related to scientific presentations at any meeting or event organised by the ESC, or related to ESC publications, is strictly confidential and cannot be disclosed in any manner or for any purpose prior to the lifting of the embargo by the ESC.

It is the Media Representative's responsibility to ensure that they adhere to the time zone specified in the embargo.

Breaking of an ESC embargo by any Media Representative, or any third party acting on their behalf, is a contractual breach. The person/entity who released the information will be held accountable and may be subjected to penalties (see section D).

C. Photos, Audio/Video Recordings and Screenshots Rules

During an ESC event, photos, audio/video recordings and screenshots are not allowed in lecture rooms and in the exhibition area because:

  • Content is subject to intellectual property protection.
  • And image of individuals (faculty and participants) is subject to privacy rights.

Photos, audio/video recordings and screenshots are discretionarily authorised by the ESC under the condition that the ESC is granted a non-exclusive and worldwide right to reproduce, publish, broadcast, edit and represent them on all media and for the duration of the copyright.

Dissemination of authorised photos, audio/video recordings and screenshots must mention the related event (e.g., ESC Congress).

Commercial use of images taken at ESC events is strictly forbidden.

ESC trademarks and logos cannot be used, reproduced, or associated with any article or press release without prior written permission from the ESC.

The ESC Press Office will provide recordings of press conferences after the embargo lifts.

D. Sanctions

Media Representatives are responsible for their use of ESC material, for respecting embargoes, and for their actions during ESC events. They are also responsible for any third party acting on their behalf.  

Consequently, in the event of a breach of the Policy, the ESC reserves the right to immediately terminate permission for any registered participant to attend an ESC event and/or to obtain official media material from the ESC Press Office. In addition, the ESC reserves the right to seek legal action or claim damages from the individual/entity liable for the breach of the Policy.

The ESC reserves the right to make the embargo breach public.

Furthermore, breaking any provision of the Policy is a contractual breach that may also lead to:

  • Immediate barring of the Media Representative from the event and from access to embargoed information.
  • Temporary or permanent removal of the Media Representative from the ESC Press Office distribution list.
  • Temporary or permanent refusal of access to future ESC events.
  • The ESC Press Office informing its full media list about embargo breaks and the sanctions that have been applied.
  • Any other additional measure deemed appropriate to preserve the rights of the ESC and its members.

The ESC reserves the right to bar from its events any registered Media Representative:

  • Who attempts to obtain advertising or subscriptions from any exhibitor or registrant.
  • Who promotes the marketing objectives of a single company or institution.
  • Or who otherwise issues media privileges to engage in activities other than journalistic pursuits.

The absence of sanction from the ESC does not constitute the ESC’s acceptance of the Media Representative misconduct, and the ESC reserves the right to apply or relieve sanctions at any time.

3. Contact

If you have any questions relating to the Policy, please contact the ESC Press Office: or +33(0)4 89 87 20 75
The ESC does not make its press database or registration lists available to third parties.

4. Applicable Law

All matters arising from or connected with compliance to the Policy are governed by French Law, without reference to the conflict of laws principles. Any dispute shall be brought before the Court of Grasse, France.