By  on May 5, 2009

Avon Products Inc.’s recruiting efforts built its sales force to its highest level ever, and those representatives are finding more potential customers at home because of the stalled economy. But they’re also finding consumers clutching their wallets more tightly than ever, prompting the direct seller to emphasize lower-priced goods to help boost the bottom line after seeing profits fall in the first quarter.

Avon launched the largest recruitment effort in its history at the end of the period, nearly doubling its advertising budget for that purpose during the three months, Andrea Jung, chairman and chief executive officer, told analysts during the company’s earnings call Tuesday.

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