A NORTH-East partnership is planning to put a successful series of greetings cards characters on to mobile phone covers.

Originator of the Babelicious concept, Newcastle's Paul Windle Design (PWD), has agreed a licensing deal with advanced imaging company e-comeleon, of Stanley, County Durham.

PWD developed the Babelicious series with publisher Beau Monde International. It was an instant hit with teenagers.

Kevin Murtagh, sales director of e-comeleon, said: "Market research suggests that much of the growth in mobile phones is among teenagers, a group that is significantly influenced by fashion trends and peer group pressure driven by copyright property."

Until now, replacement mobile phone covers have not featured licensed images to the same extent as some other product sectors - a situation that comeleon is working to rectify.

Mr Murtagh added: "The licensing of well known cartoon characters, brands and personalities is one of the most powerful tools that a manufacturer can use to increase sales of their product, yet abstract patterns and generic images have tended to dominate the phone cover market."

Babelicious covers can be viewed at www.e-comeleon.com.

l e-comeleon is moving into a 40,000sq ft factory at Tanfield Lea, County Durham, and plans to create 350 jobs in the next three years.