Brian Basham

From Powerbase
Jump to: navigation, search

Brian Basham is a veteran financial PR man and chairman of the corporate services and research house Equity Development, which he founded in 1997. [1]


Biographical note from 2006:

Brian Basham began his commercial life as a financial journalist, he then founded the corporate communications business, the Broad Street Group, which he floated. He also founded Primrose Care, which he sold to BUPA. He is Chairman of the corporate services and research house Equity Development.

Broad Street Associates

Basham moved into PR with John Addey Associates in 1972. Four years later he founded the PR firm Broad Street Group. According to PR Week:

His first employee was John Coyle; together they built Broad Street into a pounds 15 million public company with a reputation for high-profile and aggressive PR, together with an equally high-octane lifestyle.
Basham’s trade mark was detailed investigations of his opponents’ strengths and weaknesses - ’getting back to the brick-work’ he calls it. Coyle praises him as: ’a great lateral thinker and a brilliant advocate’. But outside the business community, the style - Saville Row suits, two car phones and a permanent table at the Savoy - sometimes grated with the press.
And the (self-perpetuated) myth of the tough, aggressive PR man made him an obvious fall-guy for BA. [2]

BA 'dirty tricks' and libel action

In 1991 Basham set up a new PR company Warwick Corporate. One of his clients was British Airways (BA), which was accused by Richard Branson of fighting a 'dirty tricks’ smear campaign against his company Virgin Atlantic.[3] Among his accusations Branson:

claimed that BA's PR consultant, Brian Basham, had been undermining him and his company's reputation in the City and the press. Mr Branson confronted BA's non-executive directors about these "sharp business practises" in an open letter. They dismissed the allegations and said he was simply seeking publicity. [4]

Writs soon followed in this highly-publicised David vs Goliath affair. Branson sued BA for libel; BA countersued, claiming Branson was damaging BA’s reputation. In January 1993 the two sides settled before the start of a High Court action, with BA paying Branson the sum of £610,000 plus costs, along with an apology.[5]

Basham was reportedly 'thrown to the wolves' by BA, for whom he had acted as a consultant since the mid-1980s.[6]

In 1994 Basham launched a libel action over his portrayal in the book ‘Dirty Tricks’ by author Martyn Gregory and the publishers Little, Brown and Company, which he said depicted him as a "professional liar". Basham won the case in the High Court in 1996, along with £20,000 in damages plus costs. [6]

Business interests



In 1997 Basham instigated and guided the 1998 Treasury Report into the Smaller Quoted Company Market and co-wrote 'Tomorrow's Giants' with the former senior Treasury official Craig Pickering.[1]

External Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 Key People, acc 25 January 2012
  2. Steve Bevan, Profile: Brian Basham, Warwick Corporate: PR man who’s up for a fight - Brian Basham faces 1997 with expansion, instead of libel suits, on his mind, PR Week, 10 January 1997, acc 27 January 2012
  3. Matthew Horsman, The kind of miracle that even Brian couldn't fix, The Independent, 8 October 1995
  4. 1993: BA dirty tricks against Virgin cost £3m, BBC Online, On this day, 11 January.
  5. Roland Gribben, Is another vicious dog-fight in the air?, Telegraph, 24 Jun 2006
  6. 6.0 6.1 Michael Streeter, pounds 20,000 `Dirty Tricks' libel victory for the man they call The StreetfighterThe Independent,19 December 1996, acc Jan 2012
  7. WHITE STAR PROPERTY HOLDINGS PLC: Directorate Change 08.09.2006 12:55
  8. [White Star Property says chairman Brian Basham resigns], Thomson Financial, 23 Sept 2008
  9. Robert Gray, TOP 150 PR CONSULTANCIES: Brunswick -- Bashful But Still Bullish, 24 April 2008, accessed 31 Jan 2012