Adman a knight in shining armour

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bcg2/Shirtcliffe & Co creative Matt Shirtcliffe has made the news again – but not in the ad media, as you’d expect. This time the attention came from Fairfax Media’s East & Bays Courier, whose interest was piqued by the award-winning adman’s decision to come to the aid of a distressed Indian family.

The paper snapped him outside his Ponsonby home – with clinical researcher Apana Shauhan, who is soon to undergo ear surgery. Shauhan had been struggling to find somewhere to house her parents, who do not speak English and are visiting NZ to support their daughter through her recovery.

The family initially stayed in the Ponsonby house while Shirtcliffe was on holiday. When he returned, he put them up in his Waiheke holiday home. “They left the Ponsonby place tidier than it was when they moved in,” he said. “The fridge was even stocked full of meals they prepared.”

Contact had been made earlier when Shauhan put out an SOS on the Neighbourly website.

“I was initially touched by the situation,” he told the Courier. “Here was a young woman working in a foreign country needing to have major surgery with no neighbourhood network around her.”

He did a little due diligence. “There were obvious concerns like the security of my home,” he said.

“But within a nanosecond of meeting her I knew she’d be great.

“There was, however, a proviso – we would like reciprocating visiting rights, and I’m going to take them up on that!”

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