BRUSSELS: Two key European trade bodies, the European Interactive Advertising Association (EIAA) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB Europe), have agreed a merger deal.

In a statement, the organisations announced that they will form a single trade association to represent and support Europe's online advertising sector.

IAB Europe will continue to produce their AdEx adspend report and MCDC usage and attitudes study.

In future, the bodies will also be able to develop their research portfolio to encompass projects such as the Marketers' Internet Ad Barometer and Mediascope Europe, traditionally the domain of the EIAA.

By combining the corporate and country members of both organisations, membership will stand at more than 41 corporate members and 27 national IABs.

The new organisation will be led by IAB Europe president and ceo Alain Heureux, who will be supported by vice president of research and marketing Alison Fennah, executive director of the EIAA.

"The merger of EIAA and IAB Europe will provide the critical resources and insight to support the acceleration of the interactive advertising market," Fennah said.

"Its collective vision and experience will allow us to build upon the industry's strong foundations and help companies and markets to grow their business."

In light of the European self regulation initiative - which could see websites forced to serve pop-ups to users giving them the choice of whether or not to accept tracking cookies - IAB Europe is committed to broadening its influence and protecting the industry while representing the entire online advertising value chain.

Commenting on the merger, Laurent Delaporte, vice president of Microsoft Advertising EMEA, said: "By combining the public affairs and research activities across the region under a single organisation, we are strengthening the value of the digital and interactive marketing industry in Europe into one strategic vision."

Data sourced from IAB Europe; additional content by Warc staff