Sally, the answer to your questions should come from Chris and Sarah (and no doubt they will answer in due course, if not before I get to the end of this explanation) but if they are overloaded with emails to answer, and believe me they get hundreds, it takes it's toll on the work that has to be done to keep POE running, and updated so what do they do first. It's always a dilemma.
The banner has been removed from the front page for the time being whilst work goes on elswhere to put it to better effect, the pictures submit page for example.
The second mail shot that you refer to will still go out, but with so many members it takes an amount of time again. What do they do first to keep everyone happy and the site running?
Premier Membership is now an important part of funding, but equally are the hotel bookings that have to be kept up to date ie if some hotel owner now lets dogs in where they didn't before, the particular hotel info has to be updated....there are thousands of hotels!!
In an ideal world where funds were readily available C&S could employ others to take some of the strain, but funds aren't available, and they don't (apart from some minor adjustments from time to time) employ others to do the work because of.....yes you get it, the cost of the work. Back to square one.
They are doing their best under immense pressure believe me, so hang on in there please.