From this article (link lifted from the Amazon boards): "The giant book retailer Barnes & Noble Inc. has hired Mullen, one of Boston’s biggest ad agencies, as its creative and media agency of record. Mullen will lead a $40 million marketing push to overhaul the brand....Barnes & Noble wants to capture more of the e-reader market, and much of the rebranding campaign will focus on the Nook, its e-reader device."
When traditionally brick and mortar stores start trying to reposition themselves in the public's eyes as all about e-readers, it seems to me that says a lot about the importance of ebooks in today's publishing market. Also, note that they are spending a LOT more on this advertising campaign than they spent in the past two years. I suspect they see this as a do-or-die kind of repositioning.