Repetition priming is defined as a gain in item recognition after previous exposure. Repetition priming of face recognition has been shown to last for several months, despite contamination by everyday exposure to both experimental and control faces in the interval. Here we show that gains in face recognition in the laboratory are found from faces initially seen in a rather different context - on subject recruitment posters, even when the advertisements make no specific mention of experiments involving face recognition. The priming was greatest when identical pictures were shown in the posters and in the test phase, although different views of faces did give significant priming in one study. Follow-up studies revealed poor explicit memory for the faces shown on the posters. The results of these experiments are used to develop a model in which repetition priming reflects the process of updating representations of familiar faces.