Thank you so much for a very gracious response to my intemperate note. Although I'm pushing 70, I obviously have much to learn.
I went back and took another look at the email, and the gif in question did not animate at all in my mail client, even given several minutes. If it had, I'm sure I would have immediately realized that what you had in mind was vastly different from the initial, static view! I read mail in Outlook, which is pretty mainstream, although it is a somewhat older version (2007), so I'm very surprised that the gif did not work. Perhaps you might check with someone else with Outlook, to see if they also had any problems with it?
I'm afraid the letterspacing issue bothered me so much that I stopped reading the rest of the copy at that point, and thus missed your crucial explanations. I wish I had, and saved myself from saying unnecessarily harsh things to you and your colleagues. My apologies.