Note – we now have a better fix for this issue, which we recommend over the below fix. We’ve kept the content on this page for reference only.
Since Outlook 2007 was released, support for background images in email has been problematic. Whilst you can use the <body> tag to successfully specify a full page background image in Outlook, many webmail clients will ignore this. This has often meant that both background images and colour are also specified using a full width table, to ensure support in webmail clients.
One issue that occurs from this technique, however, is that Outlook will also render the background colour from that full width table, but not the background image, meaning that the solid background colour will display above any full page background image specified on the <body> tag in Outlook.
This fix allows you so specify a full width background image that displays in both Outlook and webmail clients, and will fall back to a solid background colour when viewed in any email client with images disabled.